Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Coffret le Boréal Express 1524-1841: Journal D'histoire Du Canada

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Coffret le Boréal Express 1524-1841: Journal D'histoire Du Canada

Article excerpt

Gilles Boulet, Jacques Lacoursiere and Denis Vaugeois (eds), Coffret Le Boreal Express 1524-1841: journal d'histoire du Canada, three volumes in a boxed set (Quebec: Les editions du Septentrion, 2010), 642 pp. Paper. $89. ISBN: 978-2-89448-637-5.

This lavish boxed set is a reprint of the classic series of books known as 'Boreal Express' about Canadian history since the French regime. It was written half a century ago by a group of young historians from Trois-Rivieres who wanted to narrate history in a different, original way. Back in 1962, they created a chronicle which was similar to a newspaper, retelling short episodes and moments from every day life in Quebec and Canada. Theirs texts are presented chronologically: volume 1 (1524-1760) is the most interesting because it covers more than one century during the French regime in North America; volume 2 (1760-1810) retells the British colonial era and the transformation of the Canadian society; while volume 3 (1810- 41) covers only three decades. There are about five articles on each page, with maps and sketches. Topics are varied and always instructive, based on historical events, without any romanticising: explorers, the British and later the US invasion of Canada, wars and conflicts, politics, culture, religious and everyday life, deaths, natural disasters, relationships with Natives, new roads and territories. Many pages retell the Rebellions from 1837 to 1838 in Quebec. There are also articles about international affairs and world events such as the French Revolution, the execution of Louis XVI and the deaths of Napoleon and Montesquieu. …

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