Bugnet, Georges

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Bugnet, Georges

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1879-1981

History

Georges Bugnet was born in 1879 at Chalon-sur-Sane, Burgandy, France. He was educated at the Universit du Dijon and the Sorbonne before leaving his native country for Canada in 1904. He and his wife arrived first in Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, relocating one year later to St. Albert, Alberta. In 1906 they moved to Lac Majeau, the location of their homestead north of Edmonton. Bugnet fathered nine children and as a result became heavily involved in educational programming in northern Alberta, serving as a secretary of the Rich Valley School District, and as a school trustee at Lac Ste Anne. Bugnet was interested in botany, and experimented with plants that were hardy enough to survive in the northern Alberta climate where he lived. He developed the Lagoda Pine, and the Thrse Bugnet rose, which was named after his sister. He was later recognized his skills in horticulture, and was honoured in 1966 by the provincial government of Alberta, who christened a forest reserve in his name (the Bugnet Plantation Historical Site). Georges Bugnet is considered one of the premier French writers of Western Canada. He published four novels, as well as a number of poems, short stories, and essays. His best known work is the novel La Fort (1935) trans. The Forest (1976), which is hailed as one of the earliest examples of realism in Canadian literature. It reflected his fascination with life in the forest, and described the impact that such an atmosphere can have on human behaviour. He also wrote under the pseudonym Henri Doutremont. For five years between 1924 and 1929 Bugnet also edited his provinces French language newspaper, l'Union, and was awarded an honourary doctorate in 1978 by the University of Alberta. Georges Bugnet died in 1981, at the age of 101 years.

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