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“The real "Lit & His" - this multifaceted museum is also a fictional Scene of The Crime.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Literary and Historical Society of Quebec

Literary and Historical Society of Quebec
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The real "Lit & His" - this multifaceted museum is also a fictional Scene of The Crime.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2013 via mobile

Fact & Fiction intersect at the Literary & Historical Society (also known as the Morrin Centre) in Old Quebec City. A trap door became for me a moment of double vision: BOTH an element of the real history of the first prison in Quebec City AND the portal to an imagined murder scene. Part of the intrigue of this museum comes from being known by more than one name. Under the name "The Morrin Centre", it is one of Trip Advisor's most highly recommended Quebec City attractions. But I located my review here because of the murder mystery "Bury Your Dead" by Louise Penny, which uses its nickname, "The Lit & His". Last winter, as I read this page turner set in Old Quebec, I recognized place names & way-finding points from a summer long ago, spent living on one of the narrow side streets. Could the "Lit & His" actually be a real place? YES! Imagine my delighted surprise today to find myself able to take a guided tour of the Morrin Centre with my guide Benoit. It exceeded my expectations. But you would not need to have a clue about the fictional connection to appreciate this Museum. There are a number of very well presented displays of the multiple incarnations of this beautiful building -- the cells & punishment devices from its period as a prison, grafitti carved on the floor by prisoners, and the very old chemistry lab & darkroom from its period as a college. But the beautiful & historic Anglophone library was the highlight for me -- serene place-holder in Canada's ongoing reality of the "two solitudes" of the French & English cultures. I suggest a preliminary reading of the novel. I am currently here doing a DIY walking tour, using highlighted passages from the book and the GPS way-finding on my smartphone. I gather now that I am a week too early to take a commercial tour that is now being put together on this theme. But my solo one has had the added charge of doing my own digging. Either way, the overlay of fictional "book marks" onto real "land marks" is a playful twist that enlivens the tourist experience.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank NancyFromVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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16 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Quebec City, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“I'm a history buff, ; I found the visit very informative.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2012

After giving us a brief tour of the prison, the guide let free to visit the exhibits and the adjacent apartments, including the library, which is awesome; makes you want to sit down and enjoy a good read it's so cozy and tranquil.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank Roleduc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doylestown, Pennsylvania, USA
2 reviews
“Don't miss this one!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

A history rich tour about the city! You willl see a lot of artifacts and hear some amazing stories of the city! Maxime G. was an excellent tour guide!!

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
Thank bethbux16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, ON
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“amazing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2011

After reading "Bury Your Dead" by Louise Penny, I just had to go here. (She has someone murdered here in the basement in her fictional story.) It is an old building and it is quite amazing.....I'd have liked to work here myself.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank Kiefer_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eden, Utah
Level Contributor
123 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Not as well known as the usual "tourist sites" but well worth a visit - one of our favorites in Quebec”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2011

Thanks to Trip Advisor, we read "Bury Your Dead" before the trip. That added so much to our enjoyment of both this site and also of Quebec City. It is a fun mystery set in both Quebec City and this museum/library. I arrived at a time that a tour was not scheduled and Maxim was kind enough to give me a personal guided tour. It was so fun - especially the old jail, in the dark, on my own, with only Maxim's whisper to ground me. I liked it to so well that I dragged my husband to see it the next day. Maxim was fortunately his guide as well, although with a group of 18 - still fun. There's a lot of history in that old building. Hangings and anti English book burning! Maxim was wonderful at not only giving us a great historical tour, but he was very dramatic adding greatly to the feel of mystery . That greatly enhanced our enjoyment. This place could very well be in the top 2 or 3 things to see in Quebec City.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
Thank christineineden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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