Rumilly: Biographical Sketch

Book I – The Leftist Infiltration in French Canada

Link: Biographical Sketch of Robert Rumilly
Link: Memorable Quotation from ESPRIT

Exclusive English Translation
By Kathleen Moore
All Rights Reserved © 2013, 2014 Tous droits réservés

Nota bene : I hold the copyright to my English translation of Rumilly. My English translation of any part of the works of Robert Rumilly may not be reproduced online, in print or by any means, other than for brief passages referenced in the course of discussion or blogging.

Please take note that wherever I have translated Rumilly’s own book, its covers and frontispiece, and I say, for example, “Published by the author” and give “Lazard Street”, etc., that is my translation of Rumilly’s own first publication details, which refers to himself and his own address in 1956.

The page-numbering in my English corresponds to the original page-numbering and page-breaks in French.

Robert Rumilly, 1897-1983
Robert Rumilly, 1897-1983

Born in Martinique, educated in Indo-China and in France, Robert Rumilly was the first to traverse many distances in the history of Canada.  A particularly active and energetic historian, he left a major body of work, including his voluminous Histoire de la province de Québec.  Robert Rumilly also published biographies of Louis-Joseph Papineau, Maurice Duplessis and Honore Mercier.  His biography of Henri Bourassa remains unequalled to date.

-– Based on the French biographical note on the back cover of Robert Rumilly’s book, Henri Bourassa

L’Infiltration gauchiste au Canada françaisRumilly speaks on the subject of his book:


“I knew the harm these concepts and these divisions created in France.  I wanted to spare French Canada, my adoptive homeland of 30 years, which I love passionately, from this harm.  I wrote and published ‘The Leftist Infiltration of French Canada’ (L’Infiltration gauchiste au Canada français) expressly to denounce the introduction to French Canada of the French concepts of right and left and the atmosphere of civil war which they created.  I invite all the skeptics to read this little book.  They will note that from one end to another I do nothing but deplore and combat the importation, by the leftists, of an execrable French influence.”

Rumilly on Nationalism versus Communism:


Nationalism is a nuance, or if you wish, a complement of patriotism.  The virtue of patriotism is the attachment to one’s native soil, to the land of the ancestors.  Nationalism embraces rather the moral and spiritual heritage; it is sooner the attachment to men, our brothers, with whom we share this heritage.  It is the family spirit extended to the nation.  It is superfluous to show that nationalism does not imply any hostility towards the other human groups — any more than family spirit leads to hatred of the neighbouring families.  It implies only a distinct, preferred love.

However, the Left seeks to substitute class consciousness for national spirit.

— Robert Rumilly, writing in his L’infiltration gauchiste au Canada Français, 1956, pp. 114-115 (The Leftist Infiltration of French Canada).