Black Robe

Black Robe

Book - 1985
Average Rating:
5
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Random House, Inc.
Black Robe, an account of the 17th-century encounter between the Huron and Iroquois the French called "Les Sauvages" and the French Jesuit missionaries the native people called "Blackrobes," is Brian Moore's most striking book. No other novel has so well captured both the intense--and disastrous--strangeness of each culture to one another, and their equal strangeness to our own much later understanding.

Publisher: Toronto : McClelland and Stewart, 1985
Description: x, 246 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780771094262
9780140261592
0140261591
9780771064494
0771064497
Branch Call Number: Moor
Additional Contributors: Bowering, Marilyn

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v
velowallah
Jul 13, 2014

Fascinating and nuanced look at the early time of French colonisation, when Natives were still equal partners to the French, just before disease started wiping out entire villages. The portrayal of Algonquin culture is very well researched and doesn't fall in the trap of romanticisation or idealisation. The author does a good job of bringing us in the head of a Jesuit and showing how strange Christian thinking was to Natives. Interesting also was how the importance of dreams for Natives clashed with Christian beliefs. The use of the word Savages, to me, made sense as this was the way they were perceived by the Jesuits, and modern terminology would have sounded totally anachronistic. I grew up in Quebec and even my grand-parents and some little educated relatives were still using that term.

p
Punie
Apr 25, 2012

Although I was offended by the constant referral to "Savages", I did find this book a good read and an excellent refresher in Canadian history.

k
kyleprince
Jul 29, 2011

The book wasn't as good as the movie. Brian Moore, (the author and who immigrated from Belfast to Canada) frequently refers to the Algonkin indians as savages. I wonder sometimes how he would feel if someone wrote a book about Episcapol or Presbityrian missionaries in Ireland and refered to the Irish in dejecting terms?

The Book also portrayed the indians in a negative fashion nevermind that the majority of French at that time adopted their customs to survive the harsh climate. Moore seems to forget that the iron age gunpowder wielding French and their ways were strange and still new to the Algonkin and that while the Iroquois may have been warmongering there were equally unsavory groups in Europe at that time.

c
christilini
Mar 28, 2010

This particular novel was just a tad too dull to captivate one's attention. Unlike his other novels, I couldn't stick with Black Robe long enough to finish more than a couple of chapters. Perhaps I didn't give it enough of a chance.

j
jbeckber
Aug 14, 2008

After "Lies of Silence" which I enjoyed, I tried this Moore book. I was disappointed. It was kind of boring, although interesting from a historical point of view at times.

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