The Atlantic Book Award Society recently announced the nominees for the 2017 Atlantic Book Awards. Among the nominees for the Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing is New London: The Lost Dream by John Cousins, published by Island Studies Press at UPEI.
The book tells the remarkable true story of the Quaker settlement, which existed on PEI’s North Shore between 1773-1795, at French River. The settlement’s leader was Robert Clark, a wealthy Quaker from London, England. Rather than farming or fishing, Clark wanted to create a commercial outpost on what he considered the doorstep to the new world. He named the settlement New London, after the city he had left, and brought with him fellow Quaker tradespeople and artisans, who had never experienced wilderness, and certainly never the harsh weather of PEI’s north shore in winter. How they survived, and occasionally thrived—the settlement numbered more than 100 at its peak—is related in this remarkable book by author and historian John Cousins, of Bloomfield, PEI.
Cousins recreated the rise and fall of this Quaker community through new and old sources, including three diaries written by settlers and correspondence with England.
John Cousins is a descendant of two of those settlers, John Cousins and Mary Townsend. As well as being a retired teacher and school administrator, he is a well-respected Island historian and taught folklore at UPEI for many years.
The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.