A Blupete Biography Page


Fancois-Xavier Garneau
(1809-66):

From Quebec, Garneau was a notary, poet and historian. His Histoire du Canada grew from an article he wrote on Jacques Cartier which was published in 1842. In 1845 his first volume of his histoire came out. "The work is preceded by a 'Discours préléminaire,' in which the author recalls the development of historical criticism in the west since the Renaissance and outlines his ideas concerning the philosophy of history." (DCB.) Though epileptic and often ill with other maladies, Garneau kept up working on his histoire, along with writing poetry; his third volume come out in 1849. It was at this time, 1849, that he received financial assistance from both the church; also, at this time, the civil government gave him a $1,000 with the view that he should bring out an entire new edition (he had in mind considerable improvements in both content and in style). As his fame spread his access to original material increased, so, with the help of his son, he brought out a third edition in 1859. This third edition was to be the last in his life time; a fourth, worked on by Garneau, was brought out by his son in 1883. Garneau's philosophy for French Canadians was that Canadians should remain true to themselves by refraining from political and social ventures: as one might imagine, Garneau was not without his critics. An Englishman, Andrew Bell, translated Garneau's work and published his effort in 1860 (re-issued in 1862). Bell "adapted freely for the Anglo-saxon public and Garneau protested that Bell had distorted his work. My copy: History of Canada; trs. by Andrew Bell; 2 Vols.; (Montreal: Lovell, 1862).

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Peter Landry
(1997-2000)