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Transfortressing Attendance

Attendance at the Fortress of Louisbourg has been up nearly 50% this summer, with well over 100,000 visitors arriving by car, motorcycle, motor home, or cruise-ship-by-way-of-coach-bus. The spike in attendance is partly due to uncommonly good weather, but mostly we can thank the federal government for its Canada 150-themed waiving of admission. As we marvelled…

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Transfortressing Nature

In June, it’s the swallows. They swoop down from roofs and rafters, trailing their forked tails as they search out the puddles surrounding the Dauphin Gate. On foggy Louisbourg mornings, they seem like stealth bombers, manifesting suddenly from nowhere as they zero in on their goal. They slurp up globs of mud in their stubby…

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Transforming Wistfulness

I recently wrote about the regret I feel over France. The eight months we spent there felt wasted to me, because of the cultural whiplash I inflicted upon our daughter; because of the resulting need to homeschool her for half our time in Lille; and because that homeshooling robbed me of the chance to write…

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Transfortressing Gratitude

The Fortress gig is the first job that has transformed me physically. It’s not exactly profound, but it’s a telling reveal of my privilege that, at 42, I’m developing work calluses for the first time. Mind you, the calluses are from carrying a replica 18th-century musket around all day, so that’s cool. Similarly, my tan…

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Transfortressing History, Part Deux

Who owns history? The aphorism goes, “History is written by winners,” but what if it’s not entirely clear who wins? What if countries win, lose, and draw their way through a cycle of wars and conquests and capitulations, until a tide of political reformation washes over all their sand castles and leaves… a reconstructed, 300-year-old…

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