Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Bury Your Dead

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Bury Your Dead

A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, #6

by Louise Penny

Bury Your Dead
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2010, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2011, 384 pages

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Why Quebec Speaks French
The province of Quebec is Canada's second most populous province, after Ontario. It is the only Candian province to have French as its sole official language, and has a predominantly French speaking population with 4 out of 5 ranking French as their first language, and 95% able to speak it. Eight percent state that English is their first language, and about 40% claim to be bilingual in French and English. Most of the province's 7.5 million population live in urban areas near the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and the capital, Quebec.

Map showing QuebecSo, one might ask, how did the people of Quebec end up speaking French, when the rest of Canada has English as its official language?

The story starts in 1534, when Frenchman Jacques Cartier made the first of three voyages to "New France". Landing close to the Iroquoian village of Stadacona, he asked the inhabitants the name of their village to which they replied kanata ("village"). So, on claiming the area...

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