Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


Date of this Version

May 1998


Published in The French Review, 71:6 (May 1998), 997-1006. Copyright 1998 American Association of Teachers of French.
Used by permission.
The French Review is online at JSTOR:


The dynamics of this foundational text of Canadian literature come from its heroine's drive to resolve her overwhelming sense of loss. Angéline loses her father, her beauty, and the love of her fiance Maurice within the space of three pages against a backdrop formed by memory of the loss suffered at the Conquest. Indeed, reading the novel under the sign of resignation is a commonplace. Critics as diverse as the early Catholic reviewers, more recent biographically-oriented researchers, and Freudian and feminist commentators have underscored Angeline's attempts to resign herself to this succession of losses. To a lesser extent they have also noted the link the novel makes between consolation and resignation. However, most such comments do not do justice to the centrality of mourning and consolation in Angéline.