Louis-Honoré Fréchette

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Louis-Honoré Fréchette
Louis-Honoré Fréchette, 1900.  Credit: Royal Society Portraits / Library and Archives Canada / C-002037.
Louis-Honoré Fréchette, 1900. Credit: Royal Society Portraits / Library and Archives Canada / C-002037.
Born (1839-11-16)November 16, 1839
Lévis, Lower Canada
Died May 31, 1908(1908-05-31) (aged 68)
Occupation poet, playwright, short story writer
Nationality Canadian
Notable awards Prix Montyon, CMG

Louis-Honoré Fréchette, CMG (November 16, 1839 – May 31, 1908), was a Canadian poet, politician, playwright, and short story writer. For his prose, he would be the first Quebecois to receive the Prix Montyon from the Académie française, as well as the first Canadian to receive any honor of this kind from a European nation.[1]


Born in Lévis, Lower Canada, from 1854 to 1860 Fréchette did his classical studies at the Séminaire de Québec, the Collège de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière and at the Séminaire de Nicolet. He later studied law at Université Laval.

In 1864, he opened a lawyer's office in Lévis where he founded two newspapers: Le drapeau de Lévis and La Tribune de Levis. He exiled himself in Chicago where he wrote La voix d'un exilé. A number of plays which he wrote during that period were lost in the Great Chicago Fire.

Soon after he returned home in 1874, he was elected Member of Parliament in Ottawa. He served in the House of Commons of Canada from 1874 to 1878 as the Liberal Party of Canada member from Lévis.He was not re-elected in 1878. After that, he moved to Montreal where he began writing full-time, having inherited the wealth of his aunt when she died.

He was the first Quebecer to receive the Montyon Prize of the Académie française for his collection of poems Les Fleurs boréales, les oiseaux de neige (1879).

In 1881, he was given an honorary LLD by Queen's College, Kingston.[2] In 1897 he was created a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Canada Post issued a postage stamp in his honour on July 7, 1989.

In 1991, Louis Honoré Fréchette Public School, a french immersion, opened in Thornhill, Ontario.

Notable works[edit]


  • La voix d'un exilé (1866)
  • La découverte du Mississippi (1873)
  • Pêle-mêle (1877)
  • La Légende d'un peuple (1877)
  • Poésies choisies (1879)
  • Les Fleurs boréales, les oiseaux de neige (1879)

Short stories[edit]

  • L'Iroquoise du lac Saint-Pierre (1861)
  • Originaux et détraqués (1892), based on real life characters
  • Les contes de Jos Violon
  • Christmas in French Canada (1899)


  • Le retour de l'exilé (1880)
  • Papineau (1880)
  • La retour de l'exilé (1880)
  • Félix Poutré (1892)


  1. ^ "Fréchette, Louis". Dictionary of Canadian Biography. University of Toronto; Université Laval. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Adelphus Todd". The Week : a Canadian journal of politics, literature, science and arts. 1 (9): 137. January 31, 1884. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 


  • W. H. New, ed. Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002: 395–97.

External links[edit]

Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
William Robinson Clark
President of the Royal Society of Canada
Succeeded by
James Loudon