Wednesday 27 March 2013

Word From New France

Finished March 26
Word from New France: the selected letters of Marie de l'Incarnation translated and edited by Joyce Marshall

This collection of letters includes a helpful opening section of background and history, giving us a brief biography of Marie, and the historical context of her life. She grew up in a middle class family and felt an early draw to a religious life, but her father insisted on her marriage. Her husband died early in their marriage, leaving her with an infant son. She was determined to wait until he was old enough to understand before she entered a religious life though she was continually drawn to it, and finally when he was twelve she entered the convent of the Ursuline nuns. It was a difficult decision, but she stuck with it, and her son eventually followed her into this life.
Early on she had a dream or vision that led her to be one of the first nuns to come to Canada, on a mission to education young girls. The letters selected here are either to people in religious orders back in France, or to her son. They are well-written and full of imagery and not dry at all despite their calls to God's glory. They include much history of the colony of New France, of the interactions with the natives, and of the struggles for leadership.
An interesting and unique view of Canada's early history.


  1. Sounds like I need to read this one. I love historical letter books. I know that doesn't sound grammatically correct

  2. I've always found the stories of these nuns who came to New France fascinating. Think I'll have to find a copy of this one. I know a lot more about Marguerite Bourgeoys than Marie de l'Incarnation.

  3. No worries about grammar Irene.
    If either of you can't find it at your local library, you should be able to get them to ILLO it from others. That is where I found it.