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Borrowed and Stolen Feathers: or a Glance Through Mr. J. M. Lemoine’s Latest Work “The Chronicles of the St. Lawrence”
Author: Tardival, J[ules] P[aul]
Reference #: 1590
Status: For Sale
List Price: $80.00
Self-published; printed at “Le Canadien” Steam Printing Office. Quebec, 1878.
Tardival’s essay alleging plagiarism and inaccurate translation by M. Lemoine was submitted to the Editor of an English-language newspaper in Quebec, and was rejected for publication. The result was the author’s resorting to self-publishing this booklet.
“The Gazette, the Mercury and the Canadian Monthly having more than exhausted all that is to be said in favour of the Chronicles, I deem it meet that the public should be shown the other side of the medal, as the French say. And as no one seems inclined to perform this rather delicate operation, I, who am accustomed to the frowns and sullen looks of irate authors take upon myself the ungrateful task.” (p. 7)
Tardival was an American-born Journalist, coming to Quebec as a teenager with his parents. He wrote for ‘Le Canadien’ and founded his own periodical ‘La Vérité’. He was very religious, outspoken, and pro-Francophone.
Sir James MacPherson Lemoine (Le Moine) was a barrister and very popular author of historical narratives of Quebec and the St. Lawrence, and served as President of the Royal Society of Canada.
The result of the animosity evident in this booklet is summarized in the excellent article on English writing in Quebec in the Second Edition of The Oxford Guide to Canadian Literature (p. 975 ff., at p 977): “A prolific writer in both languages, he [i.e. Lemoine] was accused in his own day of plagiarizing some of the Quebec legends he collected and published, and today is neglected by French critics who consider him to be English, and English critics who consider him to be French.”
Condition: Good (only), with significant chipping of the wrappers; some leaves loose; pencil notations at the top of the front wrapper together with a small sticker at the bottom thereof that suggests a call-number from a personal library. (There are no other library stamps, or writing internally.) Two-hole punch near spine. The top of the title page bears a previous owner name stamp: “L. E. Trudeau”. Pp 33 + . Scarce, and despite the condition, an important artifact evidencing the rift referred to, and the pressures upon English-language journals of the day.
References: The Macmillan Dictionary of Canadian Biography (Fourth Revised Edition), pp. 457 and 817. The Oxford Companion to Literature, op. cit. Référence Biographiques (1978), Volume 5, p. 101; and Volume 4, p. 23.
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