Biography of Francois Xavier Anselme Trudel. Quebec’s Foremost Political Maverick in the Nineteenth Century

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F.-X.-A. Trudel was a lawyer, politician, and journalist, a maverick and free spirit who undermined all the institutions and values he professed to hold dear. He was a forceful proponent of Roman Catholicism of the harsh conservative ultramontane variety who disobeyed ecclesiastical authority; he stressed family values but neglected his wife and children in his pursuit of fame and fortune; a conservative; an anti-Semite; personal in his attacks on those who disagreed with his point of view. He was a strong French Canadian nationalist . He died a lonely figure disliked and ridiculed by almost everyone he had come into contact with during his rather short lifetime. The man behind the self-righteous exterior is revealed in this biography, his public career fleshed out through a clearer understanding of his personal life. The biography also gives focus to the many uncertainties and cross-currents in Quebec in the years following Confederation.


“Professor Kenneth Munro has without doubt written the definitive biography of Anselmse Trudel, who has, until now, lingered in the shadows of the history of his province and of his country. . . . through the eyes of this passionate, convicted and often impossible man, Munro has woven a complex narrative of important events that Trudel touched, and that he sometimes influenced, such as the Guibord affair, bleu and rouge politics in Quebec, the role of religion and politics in an increasingly modern society, the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, linguistic tensions, the structure of government in Canada in the days of Sir John A. Macdonald, and the Riel Rebellion of 1885. Into this already complex tapestry, Munro skilfully weaves the personal side of Trudel, the several heady peaks and the many terrible sloughs that became the heaven and hell of this driven man. . . . This biography is indispensable reading for anyone interested in the Canada of the century before the last. . . . Canadians interested in this important post-Confederation period of our history will appreciate Munro’s perseverance and biographical skill.” – Dr. R. B. Fleming

“This study is likely to become the standard interpretation of Trudel’s career.” – British Journal of Canadian Studies

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface; Foreword
1. The Formative Years (1838-1869)
2. Virtue Scarred (1869-1871)
3. Provincial Conservative Loyalist (1871-1875)
4. Federal Conservative Loyalist and Champion of French Canadian Rights (1875-1880)
5. A Family Shattered
6. The Turning Point (18880-1882)
7. The Unravelling of Allegiance (1882-1885)
8. A Maverick Emergent (1885-1887)
9. Bitter Critic (1887-1891)
10. Conclusion
Bibliography; Index

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