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Ann and Seamus

TitleAnn and Seamus
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsMajor, Kevin, and David Blackwood
PublisherGroundwood Books
ISBN Number088899561X
DescriptorsEnglish Language; Families; Friendship; Historical Fiction; Illustrated; Newfoundland and Labrador; Poetry; Ships; Shipwrecks

This illustrated poetry book by Newfoundland author Kevin Major is a work of historical fiction describing the heroism of Ann Harvey, a young girl from Ile-aux-Morts, Newfoundland, who played a central role in the rescue of the passengers of the ship Despatch which was shipwrecked in 1828. It chronicles the romance between Ann and one of the passengers, Seamus, and follows her as she works throughout the crisis, considers the possibility of leaving home and spending her life with him, but eventually decides to remain in Newfoundland.


Newfoundland and Labrador

Age Range


Author Profile: 

Ann and Seamus is a three part poem from the points-of-view of Ann Harvey, a young Newfoundland woman who, along with her father and brother, rescued 160 people from the sinking ship Despatch, and Seamus, a Irishman aboard the ship. The poem describes the beauty of the Newfoundland coast, as well as the dangers and isolation that are inevitable in this area of land and sea. The poem also describes a fictional love story between Ann and Seamus, and Ann’s struggle to decide between staying with her family in Newfoundland and attempting a new life in America with Seamus. Major's poem is inspired by historical events. Ann Harvey and her family did rescue people from the Despatch and were awarded with a medal of honour. Seamus, however, is a fictional character. Ann and Seamus is an illustrated verse-novel.


We turn toward the land.
Steady, Father says, steady now.
We row toward the frantic, haggard lot
wading out to lead our boat to shore.

Thank the Lord for his mercy!
Their words the cries of men
Freed from a wretched reef.
A reef, they shout,
that clutches two hundred more!