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Themes - Writing

Félicité Angers (Laure Conan)

Photograph of Félicité Angers (Laure Conan)




Laure Conan, a pseudonym chosen by Félicité Angers, was without models of fellow women writers when she began writing historical novels in the 1870s, a time when Quebec was engulfed by conservative and clerical nationalism. Conan remained single and lived most of her life at her family home in La Malbaie. Quebec's first woman novelist, she was remarkably prolific. She published nine works, beginning with Un amour vrai in 1879.

Although assessment of Conan's novels has emphasized the apparently traditional themes in her work — the compensatory life of religious devotion in the wake of love and loss, for example - recent reappraisal focuses on Conan's resistance to Quebec's patriarchal culture. Angéline de Montbrun (1884), first published serially in La Revue canadienne and possibly Conan's best psychological novel, is now valued for its subversive structure and thematic resistance to patriarchal power. Further reassessment of Conan's other fiction is certainly overdue.


Angéline de Montbrun. — Québec: Brousseau, c1884. — 343 p.

L'oublié. — Montréal: Revue canadienne, c1900. — 183 p.

L'obscure souffrance. — Québec: Action sociale, c1919. — 115 p.

La sève immortelle. — Montréal: Bibliothèque de l'Action française, 1925. — 231 p.