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The 1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster

by (author) Jenny Higgins

Boulder Publications
Initial publish date
Mar 2014
  • Book

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
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In March 1914, 132 men from the SS Newfoundland scrambled onto the treacherous North Atlantic ice floes to hunt seals. Lost in a sudden blizzard, the sealers wandered for two days and nights before rescue. Only 55 made it back alive. This disaster had a deep and lasting effect; one hundred years later, the story still resonates.

Perished traces the events leading up to, during, and after the tragedy, revisiting the horrors of those days and nights on the ice and examining its long-term ramifications. It is also a one-of-a-kind backgrounder on the seal hunt, exploring the roots of the industry, the conditions on board the sealing vessels, the cut-throat competitiveness of sealing captains, and the determination of sealers who put their lives on the line every spring as they headed to the ice. Illustrated with more than 200 rarely seen archival photos and documents, including pull-out facsimiles of maps, log book entries, telegrams, a sealer’s ticket for the SS Newfoundland, and more.

About the author

Jenny Higgins is a writer and researcher living in Flatrock, Newfoundland. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazine and on Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Heritage Website; it has also been broadcast on CBC Radio. She has also written extensively for the Maritime History Archive and the provincial Department of Education. Her previous books include Perished: the 1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster (winner of Perished: The 1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster won the Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing); Newfoundland in the First World War (Nominated for the 2018 Historic Sites Association, Heritage and History Award; winner of the 2017 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award, non-fiction); and Agnes Ayre’s ABCs of Amazing Women.

Jenny Higgins' profile page


  • Winner, Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

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