Joseph Doutre, lawyer, editor, writer (b at Beauharnois, LC 11 Mar 1825; d at Montréal 3 Feb 1886).
Joseph Doutre, lawyer, editor, writer (b at Beauharnois, LC 11 Mar 1825; d at Montréal 3 Feb 1886). As the editor of L'Avenir and a charter member of the INSTITUT CANADIEN of Montréal, Doutre had a career in law and politics as an early liberal that has obscured his literary reputation until recently.
He is known primarily as the author of the romantic novel Les Fiancés de 1812 (1844), and his significance as a novelist has been obscured by the tradition of the roman du terroir, a genre which developed in reaction to novels such as Les Fiancés. Part of the novel's importance lies in its effort to adapt the works of the French novelist Eugène Sue to Canadian fiction, and part in its preface, which attacks the contemporary audience for its indifference to Canadian literature. Since the novel attacks religious intolerance, it was predictably condemned as immoral. Valued now largely because of the author's commentary on contemporary society, the novel is rare in its rejection of official ideologies of the day.