Jules Verne wrote a 400-page novel about the patriots without setting foot in Quebec

French writer Jules Verne (1828-1905), known for taking his readers around the world in a balloon with Phileas Fogg and under the sea with Captain Nemo, also wrote a 400-page novel devoted to the patriot movement.

There are no fancy technicalities in this tale of a romantic hero vaguely inspired by the Chevalier de Lorimier, who hides his family name to save his loved ones from British brutality during the 1837 Mutiny.

A battle during the revolt of the patricians, illustrated by Georges Tyret-Bougnet in Famille-sans-nome.

The domain is public

During the course of the story, Jean “No Name” is captured and executed, but his brother dies after changing clothes on the team.

“This novel is much less known than Jules Verne’s best works, and was never republished in his lifetime, but Unknown family An important book in its making,” he commented magazine Maxime Provost is Professor of Literature at the University of Ottawa.

Jules Verne

Rue du Petit-Champlain in Quebec, as imagined in Georges Tyret-Bougnet’s novel Famille-Sans-Nom.

The domain is public

With Guillaume Pinson, his colleague from Laval University, he has been working for several years on a critical edition of Jules Verne’s three “Canadian” novels. apart from this, Land of furs The fur trade in New France and its theme Golden VolcanoSearch for fortune at the end of 19e century The first two have been released and the third is scheduled for fall 2024.

From Utopianism to Anti-Colonialism

Mr. Prevost notes that the novel about the patriots is built on a youthful utopia. “The old feuds between France and England would come to an end, and Canada would be a land of reconciliation,” said the eighteenth-century scholar who abandoned Victor Hugo by examining 62 novels and 18 short stories. Extraordinary journeys. A comparable creation in his view Human humor By Balzac.

Jules Verne

Published by Hetzel in Paris, Jules Verne’s Extraordinary Travels includes 62 novels (including Family Sans Nome) and 18 short stories.


It is said to be a happy ending Without family-name And the lack of suspense that Jules Verne accustomed his readers to may have harmed this book’s success. As the writer was interested in political upheavals, he was highly critical of the British Empire and the conquest of countries in general. “At the time Without family-name, “He is decidedly British, but after 20 years he changes his mind completely,” says the expert.

The immovable passenger

Quebecers, who were called “Canadians” at the time, played prominent roles in many Jules Verne novels. For example, Ned Land, Captain Nemo’s harpooner, is from Quebec City.

Jules Verne

A British artillery shell hit two patriots. Drawing by Georges Tyret-Bougnet.

The domain is public

In Land of furs, De Bois courses Canadians. They are two cousins ​​from Montreal Golden VolcanoGo seek their fortunes in the Yukon.

The irony is that Jules Verne never set foot in Quebec. “During a trip to America he spent 24 hours at Niagara Falls, which did not stop him from declaring Canada as his favorite land,” comments the academic.

Jules Verne

A critical edition by Guillaume Pinson and Maxime Prevost, published in 2024.

Garnier Classics

Interested in geography and history, Jules Verne studied from morning to night, filling out thousands of index cards. search for Without family-name It led him to meet historians such as François-Xavier Garneau and Laurent-Oliver David.

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