“Kashubia to Canada – Crossing on the Agda” by Shirley Mask Connolly

Tags: , — Yurek @ 10:56 am 21 March 2009

Satisfying the urge to better understand the reality behind the Kashubian immigration to Canada, I have ordered a few books from wilno.org. Although written from dissimilar perspectives, they all describe an important period of the Kashubian and the Canadian Kashubian history.

agda

Shirley Mask Connolly - "Kashubia to Canada. Crossing on the Agda"

“Kashubia to Canada – Crossing on the Agda” is a skillfully written book, undoubtedly based on honest research. Although the book in detail depicts the story of two hundred Kashubian immigrants who sailed to Canada in 1872, documenting their experiences, it reaches beyond this premise. Hence, readers can learn about the 19th century Kashubia and Canada by diving into the vivid depictions of life in these dissimilar worlds. In her 365-page book, Shirley Mask Connolly also provides a gamut of rare photographs (more than 300 of them) and 22 maps, many of them dating back to the 19th century.

Aside from being a writer, Connolly‘s artist talents are evident in her drawings placed throughout the book which enhance the reading experience. The included appendices offer the Agda ship passenger list, tables, aggregation of names of villages of origin, Kashubian last name spellings, and more.  I found the appendices very useful. For example, having family in Lipusz, I have identified a possible relative of mine who had immigrated to Canada on Agda.

I managed to finish reading the entire book over a single weekend which was largely due to the ease of reading (and the many pictures which always helps.)  I strongly recommend this book to the readers as it will broaden their outlook on the Kashubian matters while proving that Kashubs have played an important role in shaping of Canada and the United States.

More reviews to follow.