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Hélène's World: Hélène Desportes of Seventeenth-Century Quebec Paperback – June 17, 2013
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"Against a backdrop of the history of the period, customs of the times, contemporary descriptions, and the lives of her fellow pioneers, Hélène's conjectured life takes on form and color. . . . [This book] will appeal as much to anyone with a general interest in the founding colonists of Québec as it will to descendants of Hélène Desportes." - Maryanne R. Legrow, Ph.D., Editor, Connecticut Maple Leaf, French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut
"McNelley does not try to fictionalize her ancestor's life. Instead she paints a rich background and then states what is known about Hélène's life from the available documents for her and her neighbors." - Lynn Johnson, Links, Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society
"An exciting journey covering all aspects of [Hélène's] life in the 1600s . . . A book you should have in your genealogical library." - Lifelines, Northern New York American-Canadian Genealogical Society
"Susan McNelley has deftly woven the story of the early settlement of New France, using the life and times of Hélène Desportes as the instrument to tell the history, culture and life of New France (Canada) from the very beginning. . . .While Hélène's life is the main thread through the book, it is really the story of the early colony that is the main subject." - Bill Kane, Sent by the King, La Société des filles du roi et soldats du Carignan, Inc.
From the Author
Hélène's World includes a lot of the history of early Quebec and French colonizing efforts along the banks of the St. Lawrence River in the New World. The stories and traditions of seventeenth-century Quebec and France are relevant. We can better understand Hélène and her French-Canadian neighbors when we know something about the world in which they lived. People are likely to have more in common with their peers than with preceding and future generations. Their daily activities, homes, diet, clothing, and challenges faced, as well as their religious and social values, generally reflect the realities of life and the societal customs for their time and place.
Hélène's World is an admittedly imperfect picture of Hélène Desportes. We can only surmise what she was thinking or feeling. In reality, all biographies are incomplete. We can never know all of the hopes, sorrows, and dreams of another individual. Hélène left no diary, no letters. If we limit ourselves to the official records from church and civil archives, we are drawing a stick figure. Seeing Hélène within the historical and cultural context of the world which she inhabited adds substance to her story and rounds out the picture we have of her life.
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Top customer reviews
I think that "Helene's World" should be required reading in all secondary and collegiate-level Introduction to American History classes.
And, as is the case in all really well-written introductions, the reader is drawn to the bibliography and the desire to learn more!