With its long and well-documented history, Prince Edward Island makes a compelling case study for thousands of years of human interaction with a specific ecosystem. The pastoral landscapes, red sandstone cliffs, and small fishing villages of Canada’s “garden province” are appealing because they appear timeless, but they are as culturally constructed as they are shaped by the ebb and flow of the tides. Bringing together experts from a multitude of disciplines, the essays in Time and a Place explore the island’s marine and terrestrial environment from its prehistory to its recent past. Beginning with PEI’s history as a blank slate – a land scraped by ice and then surrounded by rising seas – this mosaic of essays documents the arrival of flora, fauna, and humans, and the different ways these inhabitants have lived in this place over time. The collection offers policy insights for the province while also informing broader questions about the value of islands and other geographically bounded spaces for the study of environmental history and the crafting of global sustainability. Putting PEI at the forefront of Canadian environmental history, Time and a Place is a remarkable accomplishment that will be eagerly received and read by historians, geographers, scholars of Canadian and island studies, and environmentalists.
Edward MacDonald is associate professor of Canadian and Prince Edward Island history at the University of Prince Edward Island.
Joshua MacFadyen is assistant professor of environmental humanities at Arizona State University.
Irené Novaczek is the former director of the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island.
“The chapters complement and build on each other, giving a surprisingly comprehensive view of PEI environmental history over the longue durée. Time and a Place will undoubtedly put PEI on the map of Canadian environmental history, and will be used as a model for other regions that as yet have nothing of the kind to compare with it.” - Matthew Hatvany, Université Laval
“A thoroughly researched collection that has much to offer those interested in the history of Prince Edward Island and its environment.” Atlantic Books Today
“The unique circumstances of island life – the interface of land and water, the challenge of limited resources, the premium of innovation, the tradition of make-do individualism, the overriding sense of place – make for a new approach to the field of envi
“This book could serve as a template for what an environmental history should be … a complex interweaving of biophysicality, humankind, ideas and technologies. There is an understanding that detailed, place-specific environmental histories nest within dee