Cat No.: CA0327:This 505 page English language book was created and published by The Historic Monuments Commission of the Province of Quebec” in 1928. Authorship is credited to Pierre Georges Roy who was secretary to, and a member of, the Commission. Its introduction makes it clear this is NOT a traditional history book, but it IS intended to capture some of the essence, culture and traditions of this exceptionally picturesque island, set squarely in the southern access to La Belle Province.
Given that, initially, the St Lawrence river offered the most obvious highway into the interior of Canada, and that the Isle of Orleans was one of the most attractive staging places along this highway it is inevitable that it should play a visible and important role in the exploration and exploitation of that vast and unexplored territory. And so it is no surprise that the opening chapters discuss the visits of such as Cartier and Champlain, these being but the first of a vast array of adventurers of all stripes who made this island a stepping stone on their adventure in the new lands.
Having dealt with the discovery, or more precisely recognition, of the Island the book goes on in a series of short chapters each of which tells of one story, or event, in a chronological sequence. In this way the history of the Island unfurls in much the same way that the events of life combine to form a personal experience of a place. This is a refreshing change from the more conventional way of history books, which generally sketch their subject as a continuum of stages, viewed with the benefit of hindsight. This brings a freshness and interest to the book which is so often missing from the more conventional history.
This story format naturally leads to the inclusion of the names of the story's participants. In addition the author has taken every opportunity to include the names of as many characters associated with the tales as he can, making this a valuable tool for identifying ancestors. Or it does in this digital version which makes the location of specific names a simpler process, without the need to re-read through many pages - and then to miss the actual reference on the next page!
One of the most striking features of this book is the number and quality of illustrations it contains. In the main these are provided as reproductions of known and recognized paintings held in galleries and museums - a few in full color, many more as greyscale and black & white reproductions. Of special note is the number of facsimiles of the signatures of featured individuals, which brings an extra depth of personality to the stories. An estimate made from the extensive list of illustrations indicates that something like 75% of the pages include, or are only, illustrations.
Perhaps this book is not the the best source of raw statistical genealogy information but it is hard to think that there can be a better source through which to glimpse the experience of being an early settler in Quebec or, of course, on L'Ile d'Orleans.
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No. of CDs is: 1 ; Format is: PDF ; Searchable?: YES;
FastFind: Yes; ISBN No.: 978-1-897405-74-1 ;