At the Ocean's Edge offers a vibrant account of Nova Scotia's colonial history, situating it in an early and dramatic chapter in the expansion of Europe. Between 1450 and 1850, various processes - sometimes violent, often judicial, rarely conclusive - transferred power first from Indigenous societies to the French and British empires, and then to European settlers and their descendants who claimed the land as their own.
This book not only brings Nova Scotia's struggles into sharp focus but also unpacks the intellectual and social values that took root in the region. By the time that Nova Scotia became a province of the Dominion of Canada in 1867, its multicultural peoples, including Mi'kmaq, Acadian, African, and British, had come to a grudging, unequal, and often contested accommodation among themselves. Written in accessible and spirited prose, the narrative follows larger trends through the experiences of colourful individuals who grappled with expulsion, genocide, and war to establish the institutions, relationships, and values that still shape Nova Scotia's identity.