(1746–1809). Born in Saint-Malo, France, into a prosperous family of traders and ship-chandlers, he travelled widely before his ship, transporting supplies to the Americas, was seized by the British off Nova Scotia in 1779. Through family connections with Governor Haldimand, he was allowed to settle in Lower Canada, where he remained. He soon married into a family that had enriched itself in the fur trade, to which commerce he then successfully dedicated himself, retiring after 1793 to lead the comfortable life of a landed gentleman in Boucherville. Dramatist, poet, musician, and composer, Quesnel became in his retirement the most important writer of his time in Canada.
From The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature in Oxford Reference.