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The Hangashore

TitleThe Hangashore
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsButler, Geoff
PublisherTundra Books
ISBN Number9780887764448

Newfoundland and Labrador

Age Range


Author Profile: 

The Hangashore is about a proud magistrate, who moves to a Newfoundland town to oversee judicial proceedings. The magistrate demands respect for his position, and views himself as superior to everyone else in the community. The reverend’s son John, a child with Down's Syndrome, quickly identifies Magistrate Mercer as an individual who is too proud, and at one point refers to Mercer as a “hangashore” for being too proud to give up his front pew in the church for soldiers returning from war. A hangashore is a Newfoundland term for someone who is too lazy to fish, but can also mean someone who deserves pity. The magistrate is furious and threatens to send John to an institution. The magistrate leaves angrily, but soon finds himself in a precarious situation while fishing, and John is the only person around to help. Butler's paintings accompany this story. These paintings are mostly landscapes and illustrate the geographical location of the story. The small Newfoundland town and its people are a focal point in Butler's illustrations and assist in demonstrating the distance between the magistrate and the townspeople.


“Beggin’ yer pardon, Yer Honor, ‘tis a pitiful person. And I should know, cause that’s what I be. But ye be a better hangashore than me. No, I means, yer not as good a hangashore as me. Oh, ye knows what I means to say, sir. He was just put out with ye, sir, and said the first thing that popped into his head, ‘cause I dare say he’s been called a poor hangashore himself more than once. But someone as stalwart in the community as ye wouldn’t be a real hangashore. Now, me, I’m worthless and too lazy too fish, so I’m a proper hangashore.”