Fish into Wine

The Newfoundland Plantation in the Seventeenth Century

By Peter E. Pope

496 pp., 6 x 9, 25 illus., 38 tables,15 maps, 3 figs., notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5576-8
    Published: September 2004

Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press

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Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press

Awards & distinctions

2004 John Lyman Book Award in Canadian Naval and Maritime History, North American Society for Oceanic History

2005 Clio Award, Atlantic Region of the Canadian Historical Association

Honorable Mention, Sir John A. Macdonald Prize

Combining innovative archaeological analysis with historical research, Peter E. Pope examines the way of life that developed in seventeenth-century Newfoundland, where settlement was sustained by seasonal migration to North America's oldest industry, the cod fishery.

The unregulated English settlements that grew up around the exchange of fish for wine served the fishery by catering to nascent consumer demand. The English Shore became a hub of transatlantic trade, linking Newfoundland with the Chesapeake, New and old England, southern Europe, and the Atlantic islands. Pope gives special attention to Ferryland, the proprietary colony founded by Sir George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, in 1621, but later taken over by the London merchant Sir David Kirke and his remarkable family. The saga of the Kirkes provides a narrative line connecting social and economic developments on the English Shore with metropolitan merchants, proprietary rivalries, and international competition.

Employing a rich variety of evidence to place the fisheries in the context of transatlantic commerce, Pope makes Newfoundland a fresh point of view for understanding the demographic, economic, and cultural history of the expanding North Atlantic world.

About the Author

Peter E. Pope teaches anthropology and history at Memorial University of Newfoundland and is director of the Newfoundland Archaeological Heritage Outreach Program. He is author of The Many Landfalls of John Cabot.

For more information about Peter E. Pope, visit the Author Page.


"One of the most instructive works of Atlantic history. . . . Deserve[s] a wide audience. . . . An achievement worthy of emulation."--New England Quarterly

"Impressively researched and methodologically eclectic. . . . An ambitious, complex, and thought-provoking study that should bring a lot more attention to early Newfoundland."--Itinerario

"[A] penetrating . . . conjectural mixture of history, geography, economics, anthropology, and international relations."--Choice

"[Fish into Wine] unfolds as a model of probing archival scholarship and alert, insightful interpretation."--Journal of Anthropological Research

"[Fish into Wine: The Newfoundland Plantation in the Seventeenth Century] is a wonderful book, and it is a model for historians of small seventeenth-century colonies."--Journal of American History

"Pope offers a distinct model of colonization and a different perspective on success and failure in the Atlantic world. . . . A fascinating socioeconomic history. . . . A must-read for any student of colonial America, a model of what the new Atlantic history should be."--American Historical Review