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Payzant, Joan M.

Burlington (Ont.), Windsor Publications, c1985. 222pp. cloth, $27.95. ISBN 0-89781-149-6. Distributed by Windsor Publications. 760 Brant Suite, Suite 405B, Burlington, Ont., L7R 4B8.

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Catherine R. Cox

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

Joan Payzant is a Halifax school librarian interested in local history. In 1979, she co-authored Like a Weaver's Shuttle*. which won the Evelyn Richardson Memorial Literary Award. Payzani's writing has appeared in several journals, not least of which is Canadian Materials, for which she reviews. Two other people can claim some responsibility for this colourful book. They are picture researcher, David MacLaren. and business historian. John P. Mason.

This is a book aimed at tourists, the local inhabitants, prospective citizens, and others who want to read a brief, superficial history of Halifax, The chapters deal with such topics as the founding and early history of Halifax, churches and schools, fires, wars, and other disasters, fine arts, sports, and notable visitors. The coverage is from the city's founding in 1729 to the present day. Of interest are the descriptions of Halifax in the nineteenth century, when a water system was being delivered to the city and the great fires occurred.

There are 150 photographs, well chosen from historic collections, as well as from up-to-date sources. The twenty-four page middle section of colour plates is a photo essay of Halifax from early times to the visit of the Tall Ships in 1985.

Produced in co-operation with the Halifax Board of Trade, the industrial connection is given the last fifty pages of the book. Here are useful, if uncritical, two-page histories of twenty-five Halifax companies who are also patrons of the publication.

Payzanl has included a useful bibliography and index. There are more scholarly histories of Halifax, like Raddall's Halifax, Warden of the North (McClelland and Stewart, 1948), and more detailed accounts of important events, like Melson's An East Coast Port: Halifax at War. 1939-1945,** but this is an attractive readable account that makes one want to visit the city. Recommended.

Catherine R. Cox, Moncton H.S., Moncton, N.B.

*Reviewed vol. VII/4 Autumn 1979 p. 208.
**Reviewed vol. X/2 1982 p. 99.

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