What do forgotten heroes, ancient burial grounds, a famous horse, a fish, a colossal sailing ship, a suffragette, a magician and an unsung genius all have in common? They are all stories featured in Historical Views: Selections from Quebec Heritage News 2000-2020, I & II, a new 2-volume anthology published this spring by QAHN in honour of the organization’s twentieth anniversary. Produced in softcover box sets or in hardcover, this beautiful collection is available in limited numbers (only 250 softcover and 25 hardcover sets have been printed). It includes 120 articles by over 60 different authors, and is lavishly illustrated with close to 150 archival and contemporary images in full colour, sepia and black and white.
Edited by QAHN executive director Matthew Farfan and Quebec Heritage News editor Rod MacLeod, Historical Views includes an array of articles from the first twenty years of QAHN's quarterly magazine. Topics in the collection are divided into 15 chapters ranging from “Local Heroes” to “Indigenous,” from “Settlement and Immigration” to “Burial and Lore,” and more. An introductory chapter by Rod MacLeod, “Old News,” looks back at how Quebec Heritage News magazine has evolved over the years.
This project was nearly a year in the making. In June 2020, an editorial committee was created to determine criteria for selecting articles for re-publication. The committee (Grant Myers, Sandra Stock, Past President Kevin O'Donnell, Rod and Matthew) agreed that only history-themed articles would be chosen -- as opposed to opinion pieces, news items, or stories on current events or historical places, many of which could seem dated if re-published years later. Once the final selections were made, and chapter themes determined, Matthew and Rod began the task of re-editing scores of articles, choosing images, determining format, finalizing design and layout, soliciting reviews, and so on. Dan Pinese and Matthew saw to the layout while Sylvain Leblanc handled the graphic design.
Members of the editorial committee are delighted with the results. Grant Myers describes the anthology as “a fitting tribute to the many researchers and writers that have dedicated themselves to ensuring that the rich, but often overlooked, history of Quebec’s English-speaking communities is preserved and can be recognized by future generations,” while Rod MacLeod calls it "an entertaining tour through some of the lesser-known gems of Quebec history, recounted by a range of experts from across the province.”
These sentiments have been echoed across the heritage community and by educators and members of the general public. Doug Brown of John Abbott College calls the anthology “a testament” to “community of memory,” a “celebration of life in Quebec,” and “QAHN's gift to everyone for whom that life and heritage have, or will have, meaning.” Mary Ducharme of the Hemmingford Archives says, “It takes good storytellers to impart a sense of the meaning of history. The many voices in this anthology bring to light a wealth of stories in the grand biography of English Quebec.” Raymond Théberge, Canada's Commissioner of Official Languages, says the anthology will “help make the rich history and heritage of Quebec's English-speaking communities more widely known and appreciated.”
Historical Views: Selections from Quebec Heritage News 2000-2020, I & II, softcover edition, sells for $45 ($40.50 for QAHN members), plus $20 postage within Canada. The hardcover edition sells for $70, plus postage. To order by e-transfer or Paypal, please make payments to [email protected]. By cheque, send payment to: QAHN, 3355 College, Sherbrooke, QC J1M 0B8.