Voyage en Angleterre et en France: dans les années 1831, 1832 et 1833

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Éditions de l'Université d'Ottawa, 1968 - History - 375 pages
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About the author (1968)

Historian, poet, and literary journalist, Francois-Xavier Garneau was born in Quebec City to a large family too poor to pay for his education. He did receive some education at the Quebec Seminary and, while preparing to become a notary, he read widely in history and literature. Visits to the United States and Europe stirred his interest in reform politics. Still celebrated as the first great French Canadian historian, his work remains the starting point for clerical and secular nationalist historians in his province. After the British had suppressed the Canadian rebellions in 1837 and unified English-speaking Upper Canada with French-speaking Quebec, Garneau embarked upon the lifelong preparation of a history dedicated to helping his compatriots resist Anglo-Saxon assimilation. Some say he set out to prove false Lord Durham's comment that French Canadians were "without a history and without a literature." Although plagued by ill health, Garneau doggedly assembled source materials from Quebec, New York, and European archives and eventually published his three-volume Histoire du Canada, which saw three different editions between 1845 and 1859. The work strongly emphasized French contributions to Canadian culture. Fundamentally nationalist in outlook, this self-taught scholar's interpretation stressed the consequences of the Conquest and dwelt at length on the battles between French Canadian and the British oligarchy. In later editions Garneau toned down his criticisms of the Catholic hierarchy.

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