QUEBEC, THE FORTIFIED CITY: FROM THE 17TH TO THE 19TH CENTURY
André Charbonneau, Yvon Desloges and March Lafrance.
Volume 11 Number 4.
Quebec, the Fortified City is the product of over two years of extensive research conducted simultaneously with Parks Canada projects to restore the historic fortifications of Quebec City and Artillery Park. This study examines the military, architectural, social, and economic significance of these fortifications over three centuries: from Champlain's arrival in 1608 to the departure of the last British soldiers in 1871.
There are four basic themes that run throughout. The first is chronological. The initial two chapters provide a chronological background and outline the political and military context of the study. Throughout, as the authors examine the various structures erected at Quebec, they provide extensive explanation of the historical circumstances surrounding the development of the city. Secondly, the study examines the development of the "art of fortification" at Quebec, discussing the European and British influences on the military architecture, and the original concepts and modifications developed by the architects at work on the various fortification sites. A third social theme attempts to portray the "colonial workforce" employed in the construction of Quebec, showing how this large segment of the city's population participated in the social and economic hierarchy over three centuries. The fourth theme develops out of an examination of the restrictive influence that the military and architectural aspects of the fortifications inflicted on Quebec's population. It follows the process of urbanization in the city in light of the restrictions imposed on a city that is either at war or preparing for war over three centuries.
Quebec, the Fortified City is a scholarly, in-depth study that approaches the history of Quebec from an original angle. It is written in a readable style. There are numerous illustrations: maps, plans, diagrams, photographs, portraits, etc., which are generally appropriate and interesting, but unfortunately many of the coloured illustrations of maps are small and unclear. Detailed explanatory footnotes and an extensive bibliography are included.
This is an impressive and valuable research tool for any student of Quebec's military, architectural, colonial, social, and economic history.
Carol L. Smith, Montreal, QC.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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