Marguerite Volant: Passions, History and Fiction

From November 14, 1996 to March 1, 1998

This exhibition has ended.

In the fall of 1996, hundreds of thousands of TV viewers followed the adventures of the beautiful Marguerite Volant with bated breath.

The McCord had worked closely with the production firm Cité Amérique to document the lavish historical series, whose action begins in 1763. Now, in return, fiction serves to introduce history, providing the Museum with the background for an exhibition about daily life at the time of the Conquest.

Seven 'tableaux', each focusing on one of the series' leading characters, reveal many fascinating facts about a seigneur and his servants, various crafts and trades, food, dress and grooming trends, the intrigue rife in fashionable salons, military life, the fur trade and common methods of transport. Some 120 original objects from the McCord's collection are on display, plus nearly as many more used in the TV series. No less than 27 costumes can also be seen, some of which appear 'live' in accompanying video clips.

Did you know that in 1763:

  • Only the exposed parts of the body were washed. Perfumes were extremely popular!
  • It took four days to travel from Quebec City to Montreal.
  • Before taking command of a battalion, a soldier often had to reach for his pocketbook: military commissions were purchased.
  • A pelu 'a prime adult beaver pelt' was used as a monetary standard. A cooking pot was worth 1 1/3 pelus, a 4-foot rifle 12 pelus.
  • Recipe books gave no cooking temperatures: there's no thermostat on an open fireplace.