The Novelist and Social Catholicism: George Fonsegrive’s Le Fils de l’Esprit
George Fonsegrive (1852-1917), noteworthy for his work in philosophy and apologetics, also wrote several novels under the pen name of Yves Le Querdec. For the most part they can be classed as realist social novels with a didactic purpose. Le Fils de l’Esprit (1905) falls among these. While didactic novels are not generally remembered for their literary merit, the very qualities that consign them to marginal interest attract the interest of the historian. In the details of life and human interaction that novels portray may be communicated the texture of the times and feeling of a period that more analytic treatments convey. As a novelist, Fonsegrive offers perspectives on a French Catholicism that was undergoing significant transformation in its social action.