Andrée Désilets (1928–2017)
(Photo from the Université de Sherbrooke)
On 9 May the historian Andrée Désilets, born in 1928, passed away.
Extremely active in the fields of Canadian history, regional history, and historical biography, she was professor emerita of the Université de Sherbrooke’s history department, of which she was, at one time, the head. She belonged to a large number of important organizations, among them the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, the Royal Society of Canada, and the Institut d’Histoire de l’Amérique Française, which she chaired from 1985 to 1989. She received significant honours, including, in 2003, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.
A prolific author, she produced a remarkable body of work which was admired by her peers. Her colleague Guy Laperrière, a specialist in religious history, paid her this tribute:
“Apart from [recalling] these various accomplishments, we will remember her as a captivating woman. She had a passion for work well done, [and] her writing was always meticulous and elegant.… This is how she will remain in our memory. We gladly pay homage to this pioneering and visionary woman who was so passionately devoted to history.”
The Dictionary of Canadian Biography/Dictionnaire biographique du Canada (DCB/DBC) had the great privilege of making use of her talents from the beginning of her career until the last years of her life. Our collaboration was embodied in 45 biographies, published in 13 volumes.
Her contributions entitle Andrée Désilets to share in our successes and honours. The DCB/DBC owes her its sincere gratitude.
Here is the list of biographies written by Andrée Désilets for the DCB/DBC:
1. Marie-Marguerite-Daniel Arnaud, dite Saint-Arsène.
2. Marie-Madeleine de La Corne de Chaptes, dite du Saint-Sacrement.
3. Marie-Angélique Lefebvre Angers, dite Saint-Simon.
4. Marguerite Le Moyne de Sainte-Marie, dite du Saint-Esprit.
5. Lydia Longley, dite Sainte-Madeleine.
6. Marguerite Roy, dite de la Conception.
7. Marguerite Trottier, dite Saint-Joseph.
8. Marie-Josèphe Maugue-Garreau, dite de l’Assomption.
9. Marie-Marguerite Piot de Langloiserie, dite Saint-Hippolyte.
10. Véronique Brunet, dit L’Estang, named Sainte-Rose.
11. Marie-Louise Compain, named Saint-Augustin.
12. Marie Raizenne, named Saint-Ignace.
13. Henry Cull.
14. Marie-Françoise Huot, named Sainte-Gertrude.
15. John Baptist McMahon.
16. Hezekiah Robinson.
17. Marie-Rosalie Cadron, dite de la Nativité (Jetté).
18. Charles de Cazes.
19. Marie-Louise Dorval, dite Sainte-Élisabeth.
20. Marie-Catherine Huot, dite Sainte-Madeleine.
21. Charles-Irénée Lagorce.
22. François-Xavier Lemieux.
23. Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché.
24. Elkanah Billings [in collaboration with Yvon Pageau].
25. Marie-Julie-Marguerite Céré de La Colombière, dite Sœur Mance.
26. Lemuel Cushing.
27. Albine Gadbois, dite Marie de Bonsecours.
28. George Benson Hall.
29. Marie-Anne-Marcelle Mallet.
30. Isidore-Édouard-Candide Masson.
31. Luc-Hyacinthe Masson.
32. Marc-Damase Masson.
33. Auguste Achintre.
34. Joseph-Édouard Cauchon.
35. Jean-Charles Chapais.
36. Marie Fisbach, named Marie du Sacré-Cœur (Roy).
37. Joseph-Alfred Mousseau.
38. Louis-Victor Sicotte.
39. William Hoste Webb.
40. Sir Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau.
41. Marc-Aurèle Plamondon.
42. Sir Hector-Louis Langevin.
43. Louis-Rodrigue Masson.
44. Charles Langelier.
45. Sir François-Xavier Lemieux.
For an obituary of Andrée Désilets, please click here.
For an overview of her career, published in the Tribune, please click here.