He retired to the ancestral manor house at St-Jean-Port-Joli, and was later imprisoned for debt (1838-41), being released by a special Act of Parliament. While he was in prison, his son, Philippe-Ignace-François AUBERT DE GASPÉ, died at Halifax. After his release Aubert de Gaspé spent the summers on his estate and winters in Québec City, participating in the capital's social and literary life and frequenting Octave CRÉMAZIE's bookstore - a meeting place of writers.
In 1863 he published his historical romance LES ANCIENS CANADIENS. It was an immediate success and is considered the first classic of French Canadian fiction. Three years later Aubert de Gaspé published his Mémoires, containing recollections of early 19th-century French Canadian life; a further collection, Divers (1893), appeared posthumously.
Author DAVID M. HAYNE