Casgrain, Henri-Raymond

Henri-Raymond Casgrain, historian, literary critic (b at Rivière-Ouelle, Qué, 16 Dec 1831; d at Québec City, 12 Jan 1904). Casgrain was ordained a priest in 1856. After teaching at his former college, Ste-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, he was named vicar at BEAUPORT and then at Notre-Dame de Québec. In Québec City he was a leading figure in the literary movement of 1860, being a founder of its 2 literary magazines, Les Soirées canadiennes (1861-65) and Le Foyer canadien (1863-66), and author of Légendes canadiennes (1861). Casgrain specialized in biography.

Despite his poor health and failing eyesight, he published lives of MARIE DE L'INCARNATION (1864), François-Xavier GARNEAU (1866), Philippe-Joseph AUBERT DE GASPÉ (1871), Francis Parkman (1872) and Antoine GÉRIN-LAJOIE (1886), as well as numerous historical studies. His scholarship was sometimes questioned, as was his lack of scruples in copyright matters, but his energy and exuberant style ensured his reputation. A founding fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1882), he became its president in 1889 and was an honorary doctor of Université Laval. Casgrain's voluminous correspondence (some 5000 letters) is being edited for publication by Manon Brunet at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières; this project is due for completion in 2004.