A Mixed Marriage: Conflicts, observations, and curious ideas about the French Shore of Newfoundland


For hundreds of years, a rich French heritage has marked the history and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador. Yet the contributions of French settlers and fishing communities have not received the recognition they deserve.

The French presence in Newfoundland from the early 18th century to the early 20th is a story of both strife and cooperation: sovereignty over the island belonged to the British, but France enjoyed the right to fish along an extensive part of the shoreline, known as the French Treaty Shore.

As with many long-term relationships, this one was marked by sharp differences, but also times of peaceful coexistence. A Mixed Marriage offers a look back at this period from the eyes of those who were there.

Included are the full text of ship’s surgeon C.J.A. Carpon’s Voyage to Newfoundland and four reports from French naval officers who were part of the fisheries protection patrol, most translated for the first time. Featuring observations of fishing and hunting practices, stories of on-board surgeries, on-land festivities, and a sprinkling of curious tales, these texts together offer new insight into life on the French Shore of Newfoundland.


Author Bio

Michael Wilkshire

Michael Wilkshire is a native of the United Kingdom who has written extensively and published on the French presence in Newfoundland, with a particular emphasis on 19th-century writings of French visitors to the province and the iconography of the French Shore. He is a retired professor of French and Spanish at Memorial University and lives in St. John’s. Michael studied at the Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France. He is originally from Upton upon Severn, UK.

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