Along a River: The First French-Canadian Women

Along a River: The First French-Canadian Women

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Jan Noel
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2013
World Rights
356 Pages 12 Images
ISBN 9781442612389
Published Jul 2013
Online discount: 15%
 $33.95    $28.86
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442698260
Published Aug 2013
Online discount: 26%
Full purchase $34.95

French-Canadian explorers, traders, and soldiers feature prominently in this country's storytelling, but little has been written about their female counterparts. In Along a River, award-winning historian Jan Noel shines a light on the lives of remarkable French-Canadian women — immigrant brides, nuns, tradeswomen, farmers, governors' wives, and even smugglers — during the period between the settlement of the St. Lawrence Lowlands and the Victorian era.

Along a River builds the case that inside the cabins that stretched for miles along the shoreline, most early French-Canadian women retained old fashioned forms of economic production and customary rights over land ownership. Noel demonstrates how this continued even as the world changed around them by comparing their lives to those of their contemporaries in France, England, and New England.Exploring how the daughters and granddaughters of the filles du roi adapted to their terrain, turned their hands to trade, and even acquired surprising influence at the French court, Along a River is an innovative and engagingly written history.

Jan Noel is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto.



Chapter 1. Transatlantic Trends 1600-1800


Chapter 2. River of Promise

Chapter 3. Women and the St.Lawrence Fur Trade

Chapter 4. Water, Woods, Earth: Making a Living


Chapter 5. Comparing Laws of Property

Chapter 6. Noble Codes, Colonial Translations

Chapter 7. Decoding the Eighteenth Century Convent


Chapter 8. Continuities in British Quebec

‘A pleasure to read, Along a River, provides an engaging thematic analysis of the lives of female colonists along the St. Lawrence Valley from the 1630s to the 1830s. It makes an important contribution to our understandings of how the experiences of French Canadian women differed from those of women in France or the English colonies both during and after the British Conquest. General readers will appreciate Jan Noel's rich interpretive narrative and clear synthesis, while specialists will benefit from her command of a vast range of French- and English-language sources.’

Sophie White, American Studies, University of Notre Dame

‘This important book provides the first real synthesis of scholarship on French women in the St Lawrence Valley from the early seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries. Jan Noel brings together the latest primary research on the topic, situating these findings within the historiographies of New France, France, England, and the American colonies. Her research on women and the St Lawrence fur trade is particularly notable.’

Leslie P. Choquette, Department of History, Assumption College

‘Noel’s extraordinarily rich book traces the experiences and contributions of women in Canada from the 1630s to the 1850s… This book is a fine work of scholarship that will no doubt prove highly useful to scholars of the colonial Americas and the history of women.’

Micah True,, H-France vol 16:09:2016

‘Noel has crafted a work of academic scholarship that is bound to become a part of the Canadian history cannon… Highly recommended.’

B.F.R. Edwards, Choice Magazine; vol 51:05:14

‘Noel does an outstanding job of placing women in the context of familial fur-trade enterprises and within noble military families…The considerable strides made in the history of women in New France is evident from this well-written book.’

Dale Miquelon, American Historical Review - vol 119:03:2014