1965 French Canadian Manuscript Letter Discussing Anglo-Canadian Historical Nonfiction from Séraphin Marion

1965 French Canadian Manuscript Letter Discussing Anglo-Canadian Historical Nonfiction from Séraphin Marion

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On offer is a letter handwritten and signed from French Canadian professor, historian and literary critic Séraphin Marion (1896-1983) to Canadian historian, writer and editor William Stewart Wallace (1884-1970). 

This three page long manuscript letter contains outstanding content. Marion - who is obviously hugely respectful of Wallace - is contacting him to ask him for his elaboration and to understand the perspective of a comment Wallace made in one of the paragraphs of his 1927 book, The Growth of Canadian National Feeling. 

Marion opens the letter by updating Wallace on his own situation. He was recently ill but is now on the mend. English translation of an excerpt follows: 

"... I give a few lectures all around the country and I write articles...I was also elected as a member of the Education of the French Canada of Ontario in 1961, two years as a member of the executive council. They have asked me to draft (or write) a small study on the Federal District and Franco-Ontarians..." [Translated from French].

Marion then discusses his reading of Anglo-Canadian historical works from his perspective as a French Canadian. English translation of an excerpt follows: 

"...I tasked myself with reading a great number of works/drafts from Anglo Canadians on the history of Canada...I have read almost all of the books from Lower, Brown, Burt, Brebner, Morton, Underhill, Massey, Trotter, Creighton, Mc Innis, Stanley Ryerson, Dafoe, Chester Martin, etc. – needless to say, yours are the best, my dear Wallace...." [Translated from French]. 

Marion then engages Wallace in a discussion about his book, The Growth of Canadian National Feeling. Marion will include thoughts from this book  in his talk to Educational Association the following week. English translation of an excerpt follows: 

"...I have suddenly remembered...a very important paragraph [from Wallace's book]...I quickly, without delay, immersed myself in the text...I would like you to give an element of justice and to make an issue- after almost 40 years..." [Translated from French]. 

This letter is a very interesting and important historical letter on the Francophones outside of Quebec.


Séraphin Marion was a Canadian professor, historian and literary critic. He was born in Ottawa on November 25, 1896. He was a vocal advocate of francophone rights outside Quebec. Marion graduated from the University of Ottawa with a BA in 1918 and MA in 1922. After receiving his doctorate from the Université de Paris, he taught French at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario (1920-1923). From 1926 to 1954 he taught French and French-Canadian literature at the University of Ottawa, later being named professor emeritus. He authored 20 studies, including a nine-volume collection entitled Les Lettres canadiennes d’autrefois (published between 1939 and 1958). He served as head translator and later as director of historical publications at the Public Archives of Canada (1923-1953). He was a member of the Royal Society of Canada (1934), the Académie canadienne-française and the Société des Dix (1962). Séraphin Marion died in Ottawa on November 29, 1983. The Séraphin Marion primary school in Ottawa, Ontario and Séraphin Marion street on the University of Ottawa campus were named in his honour. The Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal awards the Prix Séraphin-Marion annually. (Source: Wikipedia). 

W. Stewart Wallace wrote many Canadian historical books including The Growth of Canadian National Feeling first published 1927

This letter is handwritten and signed on standard sized paper, stapled in the upper left corner. There is writing on two sides of the first page and one side of the second for a total of 3 pages of content. Some bends and folds, but overall VG. French language. 

Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information or to request photos. (Kindly include the SKU, listed on this page above the price, in your e-mail so we can more easily answer your questions.)

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