Référence bibliographique 
Gossage, Peter. 2003. «La marâtre : Marie-Anne Houde and the Myth of the Wicked Stepmother in Quebec». Dans Histories of Canadian Children and Youth , sous la dir. de Nancy Janovicek et Parr, Joy, p. 147-164. Don Mills (Ontario): Oxford University Press.
Présenter l’histoire d’Aurore Gagnon, connue comme Aurore l’enfant martyre, maltraitée à mort par sa belle-mère et voir l’impact de cet événement au Québec sur le mythe de la méchante belle-mère.
Type de traitement des données :
« There is a well known story in Quebec about an ugly incident of child abuse. The victim was Aurore Gagnon, a young girl who was battered and neglected by her father and stepmother, Telesphore Gagnon and Marie-Anne Houde. The mistreatment was so severe that the child died, at the age of ten years, on 12 February 1920. Both father and stepmother were soon brought to public account for their roles in the mortal abuse. Separate trials in Quebec City’s Court of King’s Bench in April of the same year made headlines all over the province. Both defendants were convicted ans [sic] sentenced. Gagnon, guilty of manslaughter, was to be imprisoned for life. Houde, convicted of murder, was condemned to hang. [...]
In studies of the cultural significance of the Gagnon story, the sympathy Quebec audiences felt towards the innocent ’martyr’, Aurore has been well established. Less attention has been paid to the villain in the piece, Marie-Anne Houde. Just as strong as the pity aroused in audiences by the plight of the youthful, innocent Aurore was the revulsion and outrage engendered by Houde. As I will argue here, the story of the Fortierville tragedy achieved its enormous popularity at least in part because it drew on and reinforced some deep-seated misgivings about that most mistruted of domestic archetypes, the ’wicked mother’.
Negative views about stepmothers are centuries old. In former times they found expression in proverbs, fairy tales, and other forms of popular culture. If nothing else, the tale that grew up around Marie-Anne Houde certainly illustrates the persistence of anti-stepmother feeling in twentieth-century Quebec. More than this, I will argue, the popular construction of Marie-Anne Houde as la marâtre underscored dominant notions of motherhood and family life. By appearing to subvert a widely held ideological construct, maternal love, the Gagnon story in all its tellings helped to define and reify it. » (p. 148)