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Memoirs of a Less Travelled Road:
A Historian's Life

Marcel Trudel
Translated by Jane Brierley


Winner of the Governor General's Award for translation

Memoirs of a Less Traveled Road: A Historian's Life is the absorbing and candid story of Marcel Trudel's journey from the small village of Saint-Narcisse-de-Champlain, where he was born in 1917, to become one of Canada's major historians. Trudel recreates his youth as the child of a poor family that broke up after the early death of his mother, and the years with his adopted family where, as a lonely child, he learned to love books. His lively descriptions draw the reader into the now-vanished world of life of a boarder in the strictly regimented collèges classiques of his day, and later the vicissitudes of academic life. A brilliant student and tireless researcher, Trudel nevertheless had an intrepid streak that drove him to challenge accepted attitudes, despite reprimands and setbacks. At crucial moments of his life, he took "the road less traveled by," and that made all the difference.

This book, dedicated to his granddaughter Catherine, is by turns amusing, touching, and deeply informative about the conflicting attitudes that led to the Quiet Revolution.
"A wonderful example of an intellectual, a humanist, and a man at peace with himself, looking at the path his life has taken."

-Jean Basile, La Presse
Marcel Trudel has earned the nickname "Monsieur Nouvelle-France" for his pioneering work in documenting the French Régime in Canada and leading the way for later generations of historians of French Canada. Always striving for intellectual freedom, he scandalized his milieu by writing about such apostates as Voltaire early in his career. Widely respected by colleagues in French and English Canada, he has published some thirty books.

He was head of the history department at the University of Ottawa, where he taught for many years. Since retiring in the 1982, he has continued to devote his energies to his writing and research. He received the Governor-General's Award for non-fiction in 1967, the Prix David in 1945 and 1951, the Molson Prize in 1980, and the MacDonald Prize in 1984. He now lives in Boucherville, near Montreal.

Jane Brierley's most recent book-length translation is Huron-Wendat: The Heritage of the Circle by Native Canadian scholar Georges E. Sioui. Her translation, Yellow-Wolf & Other Tales of the Saint Lawrence (de Gaspé, 1893) won the 1990 Governor General's Award for English translation.

Publication Date: October 2002


ISBN:  1-55065-156-0
Price:  $19.95 Illustrated:  No Cover:  Trade Paper
Size:  6 x 9 No. of Pages:  276 In Print:  Yes

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