Monday, 21 May 2012

Robert Nelson, and the Journée des Patriotes

The Quebec flag is up in front of our place on this Journée des Patriotes. One of the little known things about the Rebellions of 1837-38 (the nearest thing Canada ever had to a revolution) is that a number of Anglophone Patriotes were leaders in the Lower Canadian version.

William Lyon McKenzie, Scottish firebrand and grandfather of one of Canada's longest serving prime ministers William Lyon McKenzie King, was the point man in Upper Canada, but Wolfred and Robert Nelson were front and center in what is now Quebec during the fight for representative government, among other things.

 Both are fascinating men, but I think Robert is particularly intersting. More than 15 years ago I started to write a biography of him, but switched to the historical novel/ fictionalized biography form when it became clear that the elusive doctor had covered his traces in the second half of his life.

The book, The Words on the Wall: Robert Nelson and the Rebellion of 1838, is available in many libraries,  from Amazon.ca, or directly from me. The French translation, Robert Nelson: Le médecin rebelle which believe it or not sold better than the original, is equally available from Renaud-Bray or from me.

A few of the neighbors have asked why I put up a Quebec flag over the years.  My reply is always that it's past time ro recognize those Anglophones who also wanted to make this part of the world a republic so long ago.

1 comment:

Jack Ruttan said...

That's true. The rebellion was not just inside Quebec! Wish people would grab a history book, or not be so one-sided.