21 August 2014

Maison natale de Louis Fréchette, Lévis, Québec

Louis Fréchette  (1839–1908) was born here, at 4385 rue St Laurent, Lévis, where he spent his first thirteen years. A leaflet published in 2001 when the house was opened to the public describes it as a marriage of the neo-classical style and the New England architecture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

'Louis Fréchette naquit à Lévis. Polémiste et écrivain, député de Lévis à la Chambre des communes en 1874 à 1878, il s'établit à Montréal en 1876. Ses recueils de poèmes, Fleurs boréales et Oiseaux de Neige en firent le premier lauréat canadien de l'Académie française. Sa Légende d'un Peuple le consacra poète national. Il y ajouta Feuilles volantes où son art est plus recueilli. Il fut Greffier du Conseil législatif de Québec de 1889 à son décès, à Montréal.

Born at Lévis, Fréchette was a noted polemicist and a poet of some renown. He entered federal politics in 1871 and represented Lévis in the House of Commons (1874–8). Among his significant literary works are Les Fleurs Boréales and Les Oiseaux de Neige, collections of poems which, in 1880, were awarded the Prix Montyron by the French Academy; his epic Légende d'un Peuple; Feuilles volantes which strikes a more personal note; and a collected edition of his poems published posthumously in 1908. From 1889 until his death he served as Clerk of the Quebec Legislative Council. He died in Montréal.'

The north elevation.

The east elevation, facing the Saint Lawrence river.

Inside the house, with a portrait of Fréchette as both a young and an older man. The house is now a cultural centre, with many concerts being performed here. We received a very warm welcome here, for which we are very grateful.

In the town of Lévis itself is La Fresque Desjardins de Lévis, in which the Maison Fréchette can be clearly seen.

And there is also a representation of a young Fréchette reading.

My earlier post of Fréchette's grave in Montréal is here.


Antoineradiohst said...

I'm glad you like the visit ! It was a pleasure to talk to you about the culture of our country and region.

Dr Tony Shaw said...

Many thanks for this comment, Antoine, and for your hospitality. We intend to make a quite long road trip of Québec next year, although it'll need a lot of planning!

By the way, if ever you're planning on visiting London anytime, just send me an email directly to the address at the top of my blog and I'll let you know how you can do it without spending too much on accommodation.