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History Social History

Sable Island in Black and White

by (author) Jill Martin Bouteillier

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Apr 2016
Social History, General, Regional
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2016
    List Price

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The newest addition to the Images of Our Past series, Sable Island in Black and White is a fascinating look at day-to-day life on Nova Scotia's most secluded outpost during the nineteenth century. Travel back in time to 1884 when author Jill Martin-Bouteillier's great aunt, Trixie, was growing up on this isolated spit of sand 160 kilometres from the North American mainland. Trixie's father, Robert Jarvis (R. J.) Bouteillier, was Sable Island's superintendent, acting on behalf of the Nova Scotia government as lawmaker, doctor, dispenser of stores, and, most importantly, head of lifesaving.

This narrative history accented by more than 100 black and white family photographs of the island's famous shipwrecks, wild horses, and visitors tells the incredible true story of a stalwart group of ordinary people who called Sable Island home.

About the author

Jill Martin is the author of Return to Sable (2015). Sable Island in Black and White, a pictorial book of life on Sable Island at the turn of the 20th century (Nimbus 2016), was the winner of the 2017 Atlantic Book Democracy award for non—fiction. For many years, an educator on Nova Scotia's South Shore, she served as the last principal of Lunenburg Academy. Murder in the Fourth: A Case of Mindslaughter, her first co—authored fiction book, was released in 2018. From Thistles to Cowpies, (Crossfield 2021), picking up where Return to Sable left off, traces the journey of early twentieth century homesteaders to Saskatchewan. Lovingly referred to as her Covid project, Jill's latest book The Fourth Sibling (2022), tells the story of Jill's cousin's escape from an abusive partner. Raw, but redemptive, the work gives voice to those whose voice is often strangled by the person who should be their greatest advocate. When she is not writing, Jill serves on two boards: The Friends of Sable Island and Lunenburg Academy Foundation.

Jill Martin Bouteillier's profile page


  • Short-listed, Atlantic Book Awards, Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing
  • Short-listed, Atlantic Book Award, Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction

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