Study notes for “Le Notaire du Havre” by Georges Duhamel

Georges Duhamel belongs to a generation of French novelists who began to make their name towards the end of the First World War and produced their work during the inter-war years, 1918- 1939.  

His book, “Le Notaire  du Havre, was first published in 1933. It is the first of a saga of novels, in which he tells the story of the Pasquier family.  This is a fictitious family but their life history closely reflects that of the author’s own family, the Duhamel, and the person whom the book presents as the narrator of the history, Laurent Pasquier is closely identified with the actual author, Georges Duhamel.  The story is told in ten volumes in total and the final book of the series appeared in 1945. The title of the complete series is “La Chronique des Pasquier”.  

 This book used to get a good response from my “A” level students and very much merits study.

Contents - Student Notes for Le Notaire du Havre

  1. Duhamel’s chapter headings with my explanations in English

  2. Summary of the Preface to “Le Notaire du Havre” –supposedly written in later life, by a child character, Laurent.

  3. Summary of “Le Notaire du Havre” in English with commentary.

  4. An Introduction to “Le Notaire du Havre”  - biography of George Duhamel – historical background

  5. The character of M. Pasquier.

  6. Similarities in facets of character of M. Pasquier and M. Wasselin.

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The page references that I give are for an edition no longer in print.  I hope this guide showing the chapter page numbers of my edition, will be a help.


Chapter 1

Pages 45-51

Chapter 2

Pages 52-61

Chapter 3

Pages 62-70/ 

Chapter 4

Pages 71-79/  

Chapter 5

Pages 80-86/

Chapter 6

Pages 87-96/  

Chapter 7

Pages 97-105/

Chapter 8

Pages 106-117/

Chapter 9

Pages 118-127/  

Chapter 10

Pages 128-132

Chapter 11

Pages 133-142/  

Chapter 12

Pages 143-149/

Chapter 13

Pages 150-162/


Pages 163-173/

Chapter 15

Pages 174-179/ 

Chapter 16

Pages 180-191/

Chapter 17

Pages 192-199/

Chapter 18

Pages 200-207/ 

Chapter 19

Pages 208- 216/ 

Chapter 20

Pages 217-221/