Author Talks About the ‘French in America’ at Two Library Branches 

Apr 19, 2017
Courtesy of: Ocean County Library

Historical novelist Jeff Heller will discuss “The French in America from Fighting to Fashion” on Saturday, April 29, at 2 p.m. at the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library and Tuesday, May 2, at 3 p.m. at the Stafford branch. He will talk about why the French journeyed to North America in the 1600s, what treasures they were looking for and why their efforts to establish a colony ended in disaster and set the stage for the American Revolution.

“Both France and Britain wanted to settle in North America,” said Heller. “The English had an easier time of it because they settled in what would become the United States, while the French were mostly in Canada, where the weather was a lot colder.”

He will use slides to aid in his commentary to present how fighting, folkways and even fashion influenced the actions taken by the French in their bold quest to claim a continent.

Heller said at one time, the French had colonized a large region that was named “New France.” It originated during a period beginning with the exploration of the Gulf of St. Lawrence by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ended with the secession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763. At its peak in 1712, the territory extended from Newfoundland to the Canadian prairies and from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico,  including all the Great Lakes.

Heller is author of A False Dawn, a novel set in Montreal in the 1740s. He is working on another historical novel about French Canadians during that same time.

To register for the presentations, call the LBI (609-494-2480) or Stafford (609-597-3381) branches. —E.E.

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