Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Back to the Plains

Wednesday night at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, William Thorsell will moderate as historians Jack Granatstein and Desmond Morton and former Quebec premier and PQ leader Bernard Landry debate the meaning of the battle of the Plains of Abraham. It's an awkward lineup -- two historians on one "side," a politician on the other -- but maybe we can hope for some fireworks.

Meanwhile, the Times Online regrets that Britain doesn't celebrate Wolfe and his victory the way it used to. It includes this story of an encounter between Admiral Nelson and Benjamin West, painter of "The Death of Wolfe" (owned by the ROM, as it happens):
In response to Nelson’s questioning, West explained that he had refrained from painting anything similar owing to the lack of suitable subjects, although he feared that the admiral’s legendary bravery might yet provide him with another such scene. West’s macabre offer, with its promise of immortality akin to Wolfe’s, caused Nelson to exclaim: “Then I hope I shall die in the next battle!” Which, of course, he duly did, at Trafalgar in 1805.
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