Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Book Notes: Dann on Brown

When this blog seemed to be one of the very few places actually noting the George Brown bicentennial in 2018, we were a bit wistful about the need for new attention to the Reform leader in the confederation process.

So it's good to see Moira Dann has in progress a new "correspondence-based biography" of the man.  I understand the modifier immediately: Brown's correspondence is constantly lively and opinionated and personal, and deserves to be more widely quoted.

Her Canada Day piece for the Globe & Mail highlights Brown's progressive attitude in many fields.
When I started to look into this man for a documentary I did about the Mothers of Confederation, I initially didn’t like him much because of some things he said about Quebec (my birthplace) and Catholics (my birth faith), but now he’s one of my favourite fathers: Further study revealed Brown hated that the church told people in Quebec how to vote.
(And people in Ontario too, for that matter, The Catholic hierarchy worked to turn the Irish Ontario population against Brown too, and also felt the lash of his tongue).

Image Source:  Brown sketch by Dominic Bugatto, from the Globe & Mail.
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