The House of Charlemagne

Louis Riel prophesied that a polyglot Métis nation would rise on the prairies five hundred years after his death, and that it would be called the House of Charlemagne. Tim Lilburn tracks the birth of this ideal nation in the burning imagination of the young settler William Henry Jackson, who took the name Honoré Jaxon after his encounter with Riel’s thought. Created as a text for dancers, the poem gives voice and body to a visionary metaphysics.

“The brilliant collaborations at the heart of this book testify to the persistence of loyalty, belief, poetry, community, and the land itself. The colonial agenda of erasure is refuted by the music of shared creation. Even when the text is lost, the dance continues.”—Warren Cariou, author of Lake of the Prairies

“The fevered beauty of The House of Charlemagne’s exquisite forms plunges us into a prophetic vision which circles our past to thread it through our future.”— The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada