Further Reading

From: The Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples/Bretons/Mario Mimeault

The history of Brittany is well documented. Georges Minois’s Nouvelle histoire de la Bretagne (Lille, France, 1992) is a recent synthesis based on academic studies. Minois raises questions about Breton identity and the future of the community, and concludes with a renewed vision of Brittany’s dynamism. André Chedeville and Alain Croix’s Histoire de Bretagne (Paris, 1993) is a more conventional but no less interesting study. Maurice Le Lannou’s La Bretagne et les Bretons, in the series Que saisje, no.1850 (Paris, 1978), is a more modest work that is sufficiently informative about the general history of Brittany to give the reader a good overview of the Breton past.

Francis Gourvil’s Langue et littérature bretonne, Que sais-je, no.527 (Paris, 1968) has more than enough information on the Breton language to introduce the beginner to the major elements of the language and the fabric of Breton literature. Additional useful information on the language and on place names in Brittany can be found in articles by Joseph Abasq, Alain Croix, and Jean Guiffan in Les Cahiers de l’histoire–La Bretagne des origines à 1789, no.89 (Paris, 1970).

Emigration from Brittany is a research topic that has been less well covered by Breton historians. One of the few writers who has dealt with this topic is G. Le Clech in his study “La fondation de la paroisse de Saint-Brieux (Saskatchewan, Canada) en 1904,“ Mémoires de la Société d’émulation des Côtes-du-Nord (1974), 102. In Canada, the genealogist Marcel Fournier has dealt with Breton immigration in his study “L’immigration européenne au Canada des origines à 1765,” published in Les Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française de Montréal, vol.42, no.2 (1991).

Benjamin Sulte published a compilation about Breton immigrants under the French regime under the title “Les Bretons au Canada” in the Transactions (1910) of the Royal Society of Canada. Marcel Fournier took up this work and published a biographical dictionary, Dictionnaire biographique des Bretons en Nouvelle-France 1600–1765 (Quebec City, 1981). Fournier subsequently extended his work to North America as a whole in his book Les Bretons en Amérique du Nord, Société Généalogique de Québec, Cahier no.55 (Quebec City, 1987). This book contains biographies of 2,380 Bretons from the beginning of migration to 1770. In addition, because of the significant role played by Breton clergy in the development of French-speaking Canada, Jean-Baptiste-Arthur Allaire’s Dictionnaire biographique du clergé canadien-français: les contemporains (Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., 1908) is a useful work.

Finally, the newsletter published by the Union des Bretons, An Amzer (Montreal, 1964– ), puts the reader directly in touch with the contemporary experience of the Breton community in Quebec.