Robertine Barry (Françoise) by Query Freres, Quebec
26 February 1863
|Died||7 January 1910|
John Edmond Barry eventually rose to local political prominence.
Barry attended elementary school in Les Escoumins from 1868 to 1873, and was a day student at the Couvent Jésus-Marie in Trois-Pistoles. From September 1880 to July 1882 she wrote for the student newspaper while at boarding school in Quebec. Barry often fight stifled by the rules of convent education and was often reprimanded for bad behavior. Barry graduated at age 20.
Barry was not interested in marriage. As she explained, "I am not among those who consider marriage as the goal to which must be devoted a lifetime of noble efforts."
In 1891, Barry published her first pieces for La Patrie of Montreal under the pen name Françoise. The name honored Saint Francis de Sales and indirectly honored Barry's sister Evelyn who had taken holy orders on the feast day of Francis de Sales.
Barry's first article was on the importance of female education and it challenged the Catholic Church's control over schools. The article set off a firestorm. Honoré Beaugrand was her editor.
During the summer of 1895, Barry vacationed in Halifax and spotted the bell of the Fortress of Louisbourg in a local pharmacy. Barry used her column in La Patrie to organize a successful fundraising campaign to buy the bell. The bell is currently displayed at the Chateau de Ramezay.
Barry published Le Journal de Françoise, a bimonthly review from 1902 to 1909. The magazine, subtitled "Le Gazette canadienne de la famille", offered a wide variety of features intended primarily for women. The magazine also reflected Barry's interest in literature, publishing works of distinguished Quebec writers such as Laure Conan, Juliette Adam, Marie Gérin-Lajoie, Louis Fréchette and Émile Nelligan. Many female journalists in Quebec got their first break writing for Le Journal de Françoise.
- Cook, Ramsay (1 January 1994). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9780802039989.
- Forster, Merna (7 September 2011). 100 More Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces. Dundurn. ISBN 9781459700864.
- Kay, Linda (9 March 2012). The Sweet Sixteen: The Journey That Inspired the Canadian Women's Press Club. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. ISBN 9780773587175.
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