Québec, 1850-1950Book - 2005
The story of a forgotten way of life, captured in photographs
Rarely has the essence of a people and their land been revealed as eloquently as in this collection of photographs of life in Quebec during the years 1850-1950. During that century Quebec became a province, rose to prominence in Canada, settled the wilderness, and developed a unique cultural and linguistic identity. It is fortunate that so many high-quality photographs, some taken by celebrated photographers such as William Notman, have survived to give us a glimpse into life over the changing decades.
The images, carefully selected from the Quebec Archives, capture the wonder and hardship of early settlers and city dwellers who farmed the land, harvested the sea and forest, and built homes out of the wilderness. The coming of the railway is shown, along with the transition from sail to steam, the arrival of the automobile and the growth of cities. There are scenes of celebrations and struggles, country and village life, and everyday activities and diversions. All photos are captioned to provide specific and often insightful information.
These archival photographs have preserved a remarkable culture and a vanished way of life. Together, the images capture a place where traditions have changed, though the essence of the people and the land remain.
Anyone with an interest in Quebec life and history will be fascinated by this wonderful collection of images and the history it represents.