The Tragedy of Quebec: The Expulsion of its Protestant Farmers 1916
Published in four editions between 1907 and 1916, this book is a passionate statement on behalf of the Protestant farmers of Quebec -- particularly those of the Eastern Townships -- and remains to this day one of the most controversial politico-religious tracts ever circulated in Canada. Sellar opposed the gradual taking over of the Townships by Roman Catholic farmers and the subsequent 'English exodus.'
To its detractors The Tragedy of Quebec represented the quintessence of Anglo-Saxon francophobia and Protestant bigotry. Its adherents saw it as a timely warning of the threat to Canada's British integrity inherent in the power of the French-Catholic ecclesiastical establishment of Quebec. The Toronto Evening Telegram remarked: 'Mr Sellar has written a book that should be as deadly an enemy to ecclesiastical privilege in Canada as "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was to slavery in the United States,' while the Montreal journal Canada dismissed Sellar's anti-Catholic polemic as 'les "novissima verba" d'un homme fatigué de lutter, de penser, et d'espérer.' But the Montreal Herald cautioned, as controversy over the book mounted, that 'possibly it should be read only by those who have the balanced judgement necessary to resist being carried away, whether into enthusiastic acceptance or into violent hostility, by the picture presented.'
That The Tragedy of Quebec should be read answer is fitting, for there is probably no better guide to the principles, prejudices, and passions that animated British-Protestant Canada in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Called 'the handbook of civil rights for Canadians,' its bigotry was that of the age, and requires understanding. This book gives the reader the necessary understanding and places in historical perspective the legacy of a conflict which still troubles Canada today.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 418 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationROBERT SELLAR (1884-1919) identified himself as a 'Scotch radical' and espoused throughout his life a liberalism firmly rooted in nineteenth-century maxims of free trade and separation of church and state. Beginning his career in Canada as a typesetter at the Toronto Globe, he went on to become a rural newspaperman and stayed with country journalism to the end of his life.
ROBERT HILL is chairman of the Department of History, Economics, and Political Science at John Abbott College in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec. He teaches Quebec history and is writing a biograhy of Robert Sellar.
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