In his frankly separatist and religious novel Pour la patrie, Jules-Paul Tardivel expressed in an extreme way what the majority of nineteenth-century Quebeckers would have expressed more moderately. Originally published in 1895, the novel reiterates two central themes of Tardivel's writing: the Catholicism of French Canada and its unique social and political implications, and the Quebec-centred need of French Canada for its own separate state. Tardivel wrote this book to help Quebec become 'a new France, whose mission it will be to continue on this American soil the work of Christian civilization that the old France pursued for so many hundreds of years.' Though set in mid-twentieth century, Pour la Patrie represents Tardivel's vision of his own times. He was a man of his time and of his society, and both as editor of the widely-read newspaper La Vérité and in his many other political writings, his influence on that society was great. If he was more extreme than most of his contemporaries in Quebec, it was more in his politics than his ideology: his underlying notions of religion, society, and the relations of men to each other and to God were in harmony with those of his province, and indeed, as the international circulation of his writing suggests, with the extreme Catholicism - the militantly defensive Catholicism - of his age.
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About the Author
Jules-Paul Tardivel was an American-Québécois writer and a significant promoter of Quebec nationalism.