Emeritus professor Marcel Trudel dies
OTTAWA Marcel Trudel, an eminent historian who specialized in New France, passed away at the age of 93. Author of more than 40 works, he devoted his life to “re-writing” the history of New France without the pious, patriotic and empirical accounts of history presented in the history textbooks.
He began his career in literature hoping to become an author. His first novel, Vézine, received the Prix David in 1945. His doctoral thesis on the influence of Voltaire’s thought on Canada brought him to Harvard to conduct research that proved pivotal in becoming a historian.
Marcel Trudel first taught at Université Laval (1947-1965) before joining the University of Ottawa, where he taught from 1966 to 1982. He was made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2004 and a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2008.
If he had any regrets, it would likely be not being able to complete his ten-volume Histoire de la Nouvelle-France (Fides publishing house). He completed only five volumes, with a sixth one written by historian Guy Frégault.
He leaves behind three children, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, his fellow historian and colleague Micheline D’Allaire (Michel Dupuy) with whom he worked very closely, many nephews, former students and all those with a great interest in history and genealogy.
In 1988, the University of Ottawa created a scholarship in honour of Marcel Trudel to recognize graduating history students who demonstrated academic excellence.
In keeping with his wishes, there will not be a religious ceremony or a viewing. A reception for family and friends will be held at the cemetery in his hometown, Saint-Narcisse-de-Champlain (Quebec), in May.