Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Quebec and the Heritage of Franco-America

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Quebec and the Heritage of Franco-America

Article excerpt

Iwan Morgan and Philip Davies (eds), Quebec and the Heritage of Franco-America (London: Institute for the Study of the Americas, 2010), 110 pp. Paper. £20. ISBN 978-1- 900039-98-7.

This book emerged from a 2007 conference held at the British Library to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City in 1608. It represents a strong rebuke to the view that the modern day Province of Quebec is the sole surviving remnant and legacy of French influence in North America. This point is made succinctly by Iwan Morgan in his introduction: 'Quebec is at the centre of a vibrant Franco-American heritage that is durable and viable thanks to the instrumentalities of time (history), place (geography) and identity (culture)' (p. vii).

The first contribution, from Eric Waddell, is a fitting beginning to the themes that are developed throughout the book. His narrative travels all over North America in time and space encompassing the habitants, the neglected voyageurs, the Métis, Louis Riel, Longfellow's Evangéline, Jack Kerouac and Franco-Americans of New England and Kansas. Waddell writes of contemporary Quebec as a nation which has 'effaced from collective memory' (p. 9) the rest of continental North America. Jean Morriset's contribution follows on seamlessly in taking this broad continent-wide approach, making good use of early maps to help illustrate his argument that French America is more 'native' than French and that Canada owes its survival to the native worlds and not to colonial France. Bill Marshall homes in on Quebec City itself describing its geography, history and demography in some detail. …

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