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  • 1942: The Golden Dog (Le Chien d’Or): a Romance of Old Quebec, by William Kirby

    “The Golden Dog (Le Chien d’Or): A Romance of Old Quebec,” authored by William Kirby and published in 1877, is a significant work in Canadian literature. The novel’s setting in the 18th century and its publication in the late 19th century have made it a staple in the study of early Canadian fiction. The story is set against the backdrop of Old Quebec, vividly capturing the social, political, and cultural dynamics of the city during the French colonial era.

    The novel intertwines romance, history, and legend, centered around the famous Quebec City landmark, the stone carving of a golden dog with an inscription beneath it. This carving and its legend form the basis of the novel’s narrative. Kirby weaves a tale of love, betrayal, and revenge, incorporating real historical figures and events, including the British conquest of New France. The story follows the lives of several characters, notably a young French nobleman and a beautiful Canadian girl, whose tragic love story is set amid the broader context of political intrigue and conflict between the French and British powers.

    “The Golden Dog” is celebrated for its rich descriptive passages that bring the old city of Quebec and its surroundings to life. Kirby’s writing reflects the romanticized view of history typical of his time, filled with drama and emotive storytelling. The novel has been credited with influencing Canadian historical fiction and contributing to the development of a distinct Canadian literary voice. For readers interested in the historical landscape of Quebec and the blend of fact and fiction in storytelling, “The Golden Dog” offers a captivating journey through a pivotal period in Canadian history.