Monday, May 26, 2014

This month in Canada's History

The June-July Canada's History continues the mag's chronological series on the War of 1812, this time with Donald Graves' study of the grim Battle of Lundy's Lane of July 1814.  The cover story hits a classic theme; the evolution of the Hudson Bay Company (by editor Mark Collin Read).  And Allan Levine has a terrific account of almost contemporary history, the Munsinger affair of the 1960s.

Levine's account impresses on us how far away the '60s really are.  His description of Pierre Sevigny's cheerful openness about his droit de seigneur attitudes ("a guy like me when he sees a beautiful woman..." is his explanation of the whole thing) surely would not survive spin-doctoring and crisis management today.)

My own column was inspired by the slightly nutsy-seeming revival of knighthoods in Australia and New Zealand (it's  sport there: after each election, progressive governments abolish knighthoods as colonial remnants, or else conservative governments bring them back as .....).  The column considers the history of knighthoods in this country, which has its oddities too.

Deborah Morrison, president of the Canada's History Society that publishes the magazine, is leaving her job in June.  In an essay in this issue, she reviews the transformation of its activities since its foundation in 1994 and particularly since her arrival in 2002.  A lotta change, a lotta growth.

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