Crémazie, Octave

Crémazie, Octave

(Joseph Octave Crémazie) (zhôzĕf` ôktäv` krāmäzē`), 1822–79, French Canadian poet, b. Quebec, considered the father of French Canadian poetry. With his brothers he was proprietor of a Quebec bookshop, the gathering place for a literary group that included such figures as F. X. GarneauGarneau, François Xavier
, 1809–66, French Canadian historian. He was educated at the Quebec seminary. He is remembered for his Histoire du Canada (3 vol., 1845–48; 2d ed.
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 and H. R. CasgrainCasgrain, Henri Raymond
, 1831–1904, French Canadian historian. He traveled widely in Europe, collecting documents relevant to Canadian history, and wrote enthusiastic histories, such as Légendes canadiennes (1861), Les Pionniers canadiens
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. He and his friends founded a monthly magazine, Les Soirées canadiennes, devoted to the perpetuation of French Canadian folklore. In 1855 his poem "Le Vieux Soldat canadien" appeared, bringing Crémazie instant fame. His subsequent poems, which show the influence of French romanticism, are filled with patriotic feeling. In 1862 the poet suffered business difficulties and fled to France, where he lived in poverty under an assumed name. He wrote a journal of the siege of Paris (1870) and died at Le Havre.

Bibliography

See his Œuvres complètes (1883).

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