Jeanne Chevalier, Fille du Roi: Her Story
In June, 1671 Jeanne Marguerite Chevalier left France to find a new life in Quebec, as a Fille du Roi (King's Daughter) sent by Louis XIV to help settle the new colony. Arriving two months later, this remarkable woman went on to marry and then outlive three husbands and survive the births of nine children and the deaths of six of them. Impoverished by her first husband, she worked with the second to establish one of the largest landholdings in the region. Her marriage with the third one brought an almost fairy tale ending to her life. Despite an incredible number of challenges, dangers and sorrows, Jeanne was able to create a life for herself and her children that she could never have imagined if she had stayed in France. When she died at the age of 73 in 1716, she left a long line of descendants, including Rene Levesgue, the 23rd Premier of Quebec, the American writer Jack Kerouac, and the author's father.
Written by her eighth great grand-daughter 300 years after her death, Jeanne Chevalier Fille du Roi is an engaging story, full of facts, mysteries and unknowns. It's a story of endings and new beginnings. And it's a story of much courage, stamina, will and many choices. Factually and contextually based, it also provides glimpses into everyday life in 17th and early 18th century Quebec as well as many insights into the creation of the unique Quebecois heritage.
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