The other book is sure to become what the blurb writers call "an instant classic": A History and Ethnography of the Beothuk by Ingeborg Marshall (McGill-Queen's). The title sounds unpromising, and the book itself is a brute at 640 pages, but this is the definitive study of the Native people who disappeared from Newfoundland in the last century. The story of the Beothuk has been massaged over the years to fit the conventions of melodrama. The belief that Indians were a doomed race was a nineteenth-century certainty; the Beothuk actually fulfilled the prophecy (Shanawdithit, the last Beothuk, died in St. John's in 1829) and therefore came to represent the tragedy of all Indians in the white imagination. Marshall is too much of a no-nonsense scholar to go in for this kind of thing. It took her twenty years to complete this study, consulting museums and archives around the world, and the scope of her meticulous research is impressive. Any self-respecting library of aboriginal Canadiana has to have a copy of her book.