Rare Items

Rare Items These are books of quality that are difficult to access or locate other than in second hand or antiquarian bookstores or in limited quantities directly from the publisher, who has the only new, pristine copies still available for sale.

Scapegoat, the extraordinary legal proceedings following the 1917 Halifax Explosion

 Scapegoat,  was the overall winner on May 17th in Charlottetown.for non-fiction in the Atlantic Book Awards,  The author and title were al;so awarded the prestigious Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award for non-fiction for 2014. In June, 2015 Scapegoat won a Bronze medal in New York for non-fiction in Eastern Canada at the prestigious 2015 International Independent Publisher Awards.


BRAND NEW listing with 10% off and flat rate shipping in Canada of $10.00; USA shipping is $15.00 Expedited.


Scapegoat by Joel Zemel is the definitive historical work related to the legal context, trials and appeals that followed the massive explosion the leveled the Halifax waterfront and north-end in 1917, killing 2000 and injuring 9000 more. Surely someone was to blame for this disaster? A through study in 496 pages, with primary source references that captures the mood, as well as the details of the inquiries, trials, and appeals of those who would be scapegoated to satisfy the public and governmental appetite for blame – someone had to be held responsible for this catastrophe! Three were charged, but why not one hundred? Perhaps because many had died, saving them from further pain and humiliation, but perhaps simply because Le Medoc, Wyatt and Mackey had survived and were more closely connected with this disaster than some others. Complete with 150 photographs and diagrams and enough primary document references and notes that tell many more stories in themselves.


Scapegoat Summary: On the morning of 6 December 1917, a French munitions ship, SS Mont Blanc, carrying a full cargo of highly volatile explosives, and a Belgian Relief vessel under Norwegian registry, SS Imo, collided in Halifax Harbour. Twenty minutes later, a catastrophic explosion destroyed the district of Richmond in the North End of the city, causing the loss of over 2,000 lives, countless injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. At first, German spies and saboteurs were assumed to have been the culprits. However, within a few days, Captain Aimée Le Médec and Pilot Francis Mackey of Mont Blanc were under intense scrutiny in the court of public opinion.


The federal government launched an immediate inquiry to investigate the causes of the accident which led to the disaster. However, Ottawa’s underlying goal was to assume control over the port and its pilotage system. During the latter part of the proceedings, fingers pointed towards the Royal Canadian Navy for alleged mismanagement of the port. By that time, the drive to find those responsible for the unthinkable had reached a fever pitch. As a result of the inquiry decision, the captain and pilot, along with RCN chief examining officer, Commander F. Evan Wyatt, were singled out for blame. They were arrested and subsequently charged with manslaughter and criminal negligence.


Within the framework of the inquiry transcripts and through the incorporation of additional legal records, official naval documentation, photographs and archived resources, this volume details the circumstances leading up to the day of the collision, fire and explosion. The courtroom then becomes the setting for a close examination of the inquiry itself and the numerous legal proceedings which followed. Ultimately, the evolution of the concerted efforts to indict a scapegoat in the wake of this unprecedented marine and civil disaster is revealed.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

A fabulous read for anyone interested in all things related to the Halifax Explosion. You will not get though this publication in single reading as the notes and subtext tell so many additional underlying stories in and of themselves. Once you read the main text you will find yourself returning time and again to search in the details and endnotes. Add meticulous attention to a detailed reconstruction of many photographs, some never seen before in any publication on the Halifax Explosion, and you have a book you’ll want to keep on your bookshelf always … as a reference or to amaze your friends with what you “know”. All Halifax “junkies” or Haligonians should always be within easy access of a copy of this publication.

Every library, large or small, will also want a copy in their collection, as will universities and law schools.

Price: $39.95
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Timeless Treasures: Historical Newfoundland in Art (Vol. 2)



Fabulous Historical works of Newfoundland in Art

NOTE: Limited quantities of Volume 2 available.


25% OFF SPRING SPECIAL with FREE 3-pack Newfoundland art cards by noted artist Virginia Houston … good until May 30, 2014


 NOTE: Limited Copies of V2 are available for purchase.


Over thirty timeless historical paintings of important architecture and older communities of the Rock by celebrated Newfoundland artist, Virginia Houston. Scenes range from the late 18th Century to the early 1950s. Many lost or altered communities are preserved in paintings as well as in the historical accounts and descriptions.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Also included are copies of the celebrated Limited Edition prints of modern day George Street and Freshwater Road in St. John’s, plus historical paintings of Bristol’s Hope, Pushthrough, Dunfield, Fogo, Curling, Corner Brook, St. Anthony, Crow’s Gulch, St. John’s Harbour, Charleston, Cape Anguille, Placentia, Merasheen Island, Conche, St. Vincent’s, La Manche, Petite Forte, Ferryland, Quirpon, plus World War II represented by in Gander aircraft and Fort Pepperell, as well as the original Memorial College. Add Hopedale and Hebron in Labrador, plus the crest, flower, bird, flag and celebrated dog of Newfoundland and Labrador and one has a keepsake to treasure. Limited quantities of the Guest Book are available – originally published for B&Bs/guest homes/inns, as well as Newfoundland homes where keeping a guest book is a time-honoured tradition.

Pages: 54
ISBN-13: 9781895814197
Price: $18.95
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Leslie Braes

$10.00 Special for the SPRING SALE (until May, 30th, 2014).


Sixty original compositions by the Scottish-born Canadian composer, writer and talented musician, Murray Shoolbraid, leader of the Victoria-based band “Barley Bree”. These are the best of over 400 works written and revised by Murray over 30 years and spanning two continents. Large easy-to-read print and easy to use with coil binding.




Additional DescriptionMore Details

Contains more than two dozen Scottish-style jigs and reels, as well as eight strathspeys, several airs and laments, schottische, two-steps and waltzes; plus seventeen other tunes arranged in five Scottish Country Dance Sets. For dancers and those who play the violin, mandolin or accordion. Adaptable to all styles of fiddle playing. Originally published by Fiddlehead Publications … only one carton remains of this quality printing format.

ISBN-13: 9781895814033
Pages: 56
Sketches/Photography By: Kirstie Kincaid
Price: $15.95
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The Boys of ’62 Transcending the Racial Divide



SPRING BASEBALL SPECIAL $5.00 off until May 30, 2014



Signed copies of the Second Limited Edition of this book were donated to the 2013 Canadian Junior Baseball Championships in Halifax-Dartmouth, Aug 2013 in honour of the team of the 1960s decade: the 1962 Vaughan Furriers Maritime Junior Baseball Champions. One copy was drawn for a fan at each of the twelve games in the round-robin championship series.


Copies of this title are in the NOVA SCOTIA SPORTS HALL OF FAME as well.


This is a remarkable story of dedication, perseverance and racial harmony at a time when racial intolerance and social upheaval dominated the North American landscape.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Comprised of an equal number of black (African Canadian) and white players, they transcended racial barriers and dominated junior baseball in the summer of 1962, but more importantly dedicated themselves to succeeding generations of youth, earning the respect and support of their community and province. This is a story of that Hall of Fame team and each of its members.

Pages: 200
ISBN-10: 1895814200
ISBN-13: 9781895814200
Price: $15.95
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