Lost Country continues the narrative history Patrick O'Flaherty began in his award-winning 1999 volume, Old Newfoundland: A History to 1843. In this new book he follows the story over the next ninety years as Newfoundland advanced along a thorny path to Dominion status and towards nationhood, a path it slipped off in the gloomy 1930s when it relinquished self-government in favour of what amounted to direct rule from London.
Many forces held it back in 1843 - 1933, not the least of which were burdens inherited from its colonial past. It was tempted into aping industrial developments on the North American continent, some of them unsuited to its resources and fiscal capacity. The grandees of imperial France were another impediment to progress until 1904. Canadian wolves had designs on its territory, and had to be fought off.
The economy was narrowly focused on fish production for export, an activity fraught with uncertainty, for Newfoundlanders had to compete with nations having far greater diplomatic muscle. And there were wounds, still liable to bleed, left over from ethnic and religious infighting in the 1830s. O'Flaherty's book takes the reader through the political wars, economic slumps, intellectual debates, moments of high drama, and notable achievements which form part of the record of this small, lost country. 514 pages