Jack Fitzgerald's Notebook. Rev. ed.


144 pages
ISBN 1-894294-40-8
DDC 971.8




Reviewed by Melvin Baker

Melvin Baker is an archivist and historian at Memorial University of
Newfoundland, and the co-editor of Dictionary of Newfoundland and
Labrador Biography.


For nearly 30 years, Jack Fitzgerald has been a popular and prolific
writer on the history of St. John’s. These books are two more worthy

In Beyond the Grave, Fitzgerald continues demonstrating his longtime
fascination with Newfoundland’s legal history and folkloric past. The
nearly 100 stories are short and make for quick reading. The book’s
emphasis is on the supernatural and death mysteries, and Fitzgerald is
an adroit storyteller—his mysteries do not disappoint.

Notebook is a revised edition of a collection of brief essays first
published in 1985 that had in turn developed out of a daily five-minute
local radio program hosted by Fitzgerald. The essays cover a wide range
of subjects, span nearly 500 years of Newfoundland history, and follow
the great tradition of popularizing local history made famous by radio
host and journalist Joseph Smallwood in the 1930s. Military (“Nazi
Attack on Bell Island”), seafaring (“The World’s Greatest Mass
Collision of Ships”), pirate (“Famous English Pirate Attacks
Newfoundland Ports”), and criminal stories (“Hanged at Fort
Townshend”) are just a few examples what’s in this very readable


Fitzgerald, Jack., “Jack Fitzgerald's Notebook. Rev. ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/10101.