The Many Landfalls of John Cabot

By Peter E. Pope

© 1997

On 24 June 1497 John Cabot landed somewhere on the eastern seaboard of what is now Canada, yet even today, five hundred years later, no one knows precisely where. Once an issue in diplomatic negotiations over title to a continent, Cabot's landfall has also been the subject, especially in centennial years, of competing attempts to appropriate the meaning of the event.

Beginning with the historical context of Cabot's journey, Pope traces the various landfall theories which have placed his landing in locations from the Strait of Belle Isle to Cape Breton. The very uncertainty of our knowledge, he argues, has allowed nationalists in both Newfoundland and Canada to shape the debate about Cabot's itinerary and to stake claims to the landfall that amount to the invention of differing national traditions. As well, Pope concludes, the invented tradition of 'discovery' has allowed Europeans and their descendants to overlook the fact that their possession of North America is based on appropriation from Aboriginal peoples.

Well-illustrated with period maps, engravings, and stamps, The Many Landfalls of John Cabot will appeal to readers interested in early European transatlantic voyages, in the nature of the anniversaries that have celebrated Cabot's landing, and in the question of how national pasts are constructed, often from ambiguous sources.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP000166

  • PUBLISHED NOV 1997

    From: $22.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

    ISBN 9780802071507
  • PUBLISHED OCT 1997

    From: $63.00

    Regular Price: $84.00

Quick Overview

Pope contrasts what we know about Cabot with what we think we know, and shows how the invention of various traditions has shaped debates about his landing in North America.

The Many Landfalls of John Cabot

By Peter E. Pope

© 1997

On 24 June 1497 John Cabot landed somewhere on the eastern seaboard of what is now Canada, yet even today, five hundred years later, no one knows precisely where. Once an issue in diplomatic negotiations over title to a continent, Cabot's landfall has also been the subject, especially in centennial years, of competing attempts to appropriate the meaning of the event.

Beginning with the historical context of Cabot's journey, Pope traces the various landfall theories which have placed his landing in locations from the Strait of Belle Isle to Cape Breton. The very uncertainty of our knowledge, he argues, has allowed nationalists in both Newfoundland and Canada to shape the debate about Cabot's itinerary and to stake claims to the landfall that amount to the invention of differing national traditions. As well, Pope concludes, the invented tradition of 'discovery' has allowed Europeans and their descendants to overlook the fact that their possession of North America is based on appropriation from Aboriginal peoples.

Well-illustrated with period maps, engravings, and stamps, The Many Landfalls of John Cabot will appeal to readers interested in early European transatlantic voyages, in the nature of the anniversaries that have celebrated Cabot's landing, and in the question of how national pasts are constructed, often from ambiguous sources.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Peter E. Pope is a member of the Archaeology Unit, Department of Anthropology, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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