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Gérin-Lajoie family fonds. - 1874-19l5. - 9 cm of textual record.

Biographical Sketch

Novelist, essayist, historian, editor, translator and public servant Antoine Gérin-Lajoie (1824-1882) was born in Yamachiche, Quebec. In 1837, he enrolled at Collège de Nicolet, where he was mentored by Abbé Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Ferland. He was a young college student when he wrote his first poetry, the well-known folk song Un Canadien errant, and his three-act tragedy, Le Jeune Latour, which was published in newspapers beginning in 1844.

Gérin-Lajoie studied law in Montreal (1844-48) and participated in the foundation of the Institut canadien. By 1848, he was a practising attorney, with interests in both politics and literature. In 1851, he wrote his Catéchisme politique, a practical manual dealing with Canada's political institutions. He interned as a journalist with La Minerve until 1852, when he became a translator in the Legislative Assembly. In 1856, he was appointed Assistant Librarian of Parliament, and became the primary author of the Catalogue de la Bibliothèque du Parlement (1857-1858). Returning to Quebec, he was active in literary life during the 1860s. He was the founder of two literary magazines, Les Soirées canadiennes (1861) and Le Foyer canadien (1863), where the two volumes of his novels, Jean Rivard, le défricheur (1862) and Jean Rivard, économiste (1864), were published. His work, Dix ans au Canada, de 1840 à 1850 (1888), the story of the establishment of responsible government, published posthumously, is considered his best work.

Scope and Content

The Gérin-Lajoie family fonds consists of handwritten letters between Antoine and Joséphine, in Ottawa, and their son Henri Gérin-Lajoie, a student in Montreal. The fonds also contains correspondence related to the publication of Antoine Gérin-Lajoie's works and documentation about the Sulte, Lajoie and Parent families.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: acquired from Mr. and Mrs. Paul Gérin-Lajoie in 1974. [1974-07]

Language: material in the fonds is in French.

Restrictions: none.

Finding Aid: finding aid available.

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