Sound Mind and Memory, is very different from the ones I usually write. This one takes a look at wills that were probated on the island of Newfoundland during the 19th century. It talks about threats to cut off unruly children, cutting off widows who disgraced themselves with a companion outside of marriage, fathers handing down businesses to sons, and heartfelt thanks given for kindness received. In other words, the wills tell us what mattered to people during that time period. It's all framed within the context of a traveling legal system, restricted rights for women, a religious community, a population boom, and geographical isolation.
It's in paperback, 316 pages, and contains snippets from about 200 wills. It also contains a chronological analysis of the 17 laws relating to wills and probate that were passed in NL during the 19th century.
This book is great for anyone interested in the history of Newfoundland, the history of our legal system, or the development of Newfoundland culture. Click here to learn more or to get a copy.