Library Lectures: “Reading the Diaries of Henry Trent” by Jack Little
On Thursday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m., historian Jack Little will give a presentation on his book Reading the Diaries of Henry Trent.
In this talk, based on Reading the Diaries of Henry Trent: The Everyday Life of a Canadian Englishman, 1842–1898 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021), Jack Little will discuss what the many volumes of Henry Trent’s personal diary reveal of his rather unusual life journey. Under the wing of his psychologically disturbed father, who was one of the British half-pay officers who had settled in the Drummondville area, young Trent began to keep a diary as an exercise in self-improvement and continued to do so largely in order to record his efforts to succeed in life. His sometimes emotional diary takes us from his youthful years, spent hunting and fishing in the lower St. Francis valley (Quebec), to his transition into early manhood in London and then Vancouver Island, and finally to his last four decades of struggle, as the husband of a much younger French Canadian woman and the father of their many children on the riverside farm he had inherited from his father. Trent’s story of downward mobility not only gives us a rare view of 19th-century society in the Drummondville area, but it also shines a sharply focused light on the nature of social class, gender roles, family dynamics, the aging process, French-English relations, and British colonialism in 19th-century Canada.
NOTE: This event will be hybrid.
To sign up to attend in person, click HERE.
To sign up to attend online, click HERE.
A native of the Eastern Townships, Jack Little was a member for nearly four decades of Simon Fraser University’s History Department. The majority of his many books and articles are focused on the history of Quebec and particularly of the Eastern Townships. His more recent books include: Fashioning the Canadian Landscape: Essays on Travel Writing, Tourism and National Identity in the Pre-Automobile Era (University of Toronto Press, 2018); Patrician Liberal: The Public and Private Life of Sir Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, 1829–1908 (University of Toronto Press, 2013); An Illustrated History of Quebec: Tradition and Modernity (co-author, Peter Gossage. Oxford University Press, 2012, translated as Une histoire du Québec: entre tradition et modernité. Hurtubise, 2015); and Loyalties in Conflict: A Canadian Borderland in War and Rebellion, 1812–1840 (University of Toronto Press, 2008).
To read more about the book, see HERE.