Léon Provancher

Léon Provancher, priest, naturalist (b in the parish of Bécancour, Qué 10 Mar 1820; d at Cap-Rouge, Qué 23 Mar 1892).

Léon Provancher

Léon Provancher, priest, naturalist (b in the parish of Bécancour, Qué 10 Mar 1820; d at Cap-Rouge, Qué 23 Mar 1892). While still simply a country priest, Provancher came to the attention of scholars and the public when he published Flore canadienne (1862) and launched a magazine, Le Naturaliste canadien (1868). After taking up residence in the small village of Cap-Rouge in 1872, Provancher devoted his remaining years to natural history. His Petite Faune Entomologique du Canada, describing over 1000 new insect species, principally Hymenoptera, made him known to naturalists around the world.

A prolific author, his works included Traité élémentaire de botanique (1858), Le Verger canadien (1862), Histoire du Canada and De Québec à Jérusalem (1884).

In 1888 he founded La Semaine religieuse de Québec. His brooding temperament, virulent polemics and strict ultramontane convictions made Provancher stand out among the intellectuals of Québec. A true scholar, but without a following, he left a rich legacy of contributions to science.