Angéline de Montbrun
(1882), novel by Laure Conan (pseudonym of Félicité ANGERS
), is French Canada's first psychological novel and one of its first novels by a woman. In it Angers adapts epistolary fiction, religious meditations and the private lady's journal to narrate the tragedy of a young girl raised by her godlike father in the isolated village of Valriant, who cannot, after his death, transfer her affections to her fiancé Maurice. Her beauty having been symbolically disfigured in a fall, Angéline renounces the world and her lover. In contrast to her friend Mina, a mondaine
("worldly woman") turned Ursuline nun, she struggles in a private agony and ecstasy of regret, eagerly awaiting death and the joys of afterlife.
Angers transmutes autobiographical details into a powerful psychological study of the role played by religion in 19th-century family life. Angéline was serialized in La Revue canadienne (June 1881- August 1882), published in book form in 1884 and reissued several times. It was translated into English by Yves Brunelle in 1974.