A touch of fire : Marie-André Duplessis, the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec, and the writing of New France /

Publication Type:



McGill-Queen's University Press,, Volume 1, Montreal, Canada, p.1 online resource (x, 370 pages) : (2020)

Call Number:





(OCoLC)fst00961111, (OCoLC)fst00961166, (OCoLC)fst01041386, 18th century., BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical, Biography., bisacsh, fast, History, Hospitalers, Hospitalers., Hospitals, Hospitals., Nuns, Nuns., Québec (Province)


Includes bibliographical references and index.Introduction -- 1. Two girls' friendship on the Rue Saint-Honoré in the orbit of independent women -- 2. The networks of an enterprising father and a resilient mother -- 3. Spiritual mothers and friends : seeking the peace of the Lord in hospitality -- 4. Friend of a Jansenist, sister of a Jesuit : the 1718 Jansenist scare at the Hôtel-Dieu and fashioning epistolary friendships -- 5. A sister team managing the oldest hospital north of Mexico : Duplessis's first two terms as Mother Superior (1732-38; 1744-50) -- 6. Writing the spiritual life at the Hôtel-Dieu -- 7. Duplessis takes women's history public : Les Annales de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec -- 8. 1750-55 in a "land of crosses and suffering" : aborted expansion, burnout, and the Encyclopédie -- 9. 1755-58 in a "land of crosses and suffering" : fire, family crosses, and war -- 10. A woman's siege and occupation : navigating a year of male military failures -- 11. Epilogue and conclusion : bride of an unworthy spouse : femme forte or femme tendre?"Marie-André Duplessis (1687-1760) guided the Augustinian sisters at the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec -- the oldest hospital north of Mexico -- where she was elected mother superior six times. Although often overshadowed by colonial nuns who became foundresses or saints, she was a powerhouse during the last decades of the French regime and an accomplished woman of letters. She has been credited with Canada's first literary narrative, Canada's first music manual, and the first book by a Canadian woman printed during her own lifetime. In Touch of Fire, the first biography of Duplessis, Thomas Carr analyzes how she navigated, in peace and war, the unstable, male-dominated colonial world of New France. Through a study of Duplessis's correspondence, her writings, and the rich Hôtel-Dieu archives, Carr detailshow she channeled the fire of her commitment to the hospital in order to advance its interests, preserve its history, and inspire her sister nuns. Duplessis chronicled New France as she wrote for and about her institution. Her administrative correspondence reveals her managerial successes and failures, and her private letters reshaped her friendship with a childhood Jansenist friend, Marie-Catherine Hecquet. Carr also delves into her relationship with her sister Geneviève Duplessis, who joined her in the cloister and became her managerial and spiritual partner. The addition of Duplessis's last letters provides a dramatic insider's view into the female experience of the siege and capture of Quebec in 1759."--Thomas M. Carr, Jr, is Harold E. Spencer Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.Print version record.