Boswell’s Children


Boswell’s Children emerged from a conference on biography and history, 2-4 May 1991, hosted by Ged Martin, director of the Centre of Canadian Studies, University of Edinburgh.

This collection represents some of the finest moments of the conference. Francess Halpenny, who has made biography her life, surveys its past and future; Elspeth Cameron discusses truth in biography; and Réal Bélanger explains why biography has not attracted historians in French Canada. Characters from the past live again: Aimee Semple McPherson urges us to believe her invented past; Timothy Eaton’s supposed fondness for Northern Ireland is questioned; Dr. Norman Bethune stalks again through China; Sir Wilfrid Laurier and D’Alton McCarthy debate the Manitoba Schools Question; William Lyon Mackenzie and Sir William Mackenzie, John Galt and Lord Lansdowne make appearances.

Collective biography and cultural baggage, rebellions in Ireland and Canada, and the founding of the United Church of Canada are discussed within the framework of biography. Ged Martin’s pithy introduction alone is worth the price of the book.


The essays are, without exception, informative and delightful to read (covering) a wide range of subjects...

About the Author

R.B. Fleming

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
R.B. Fleming photo

R.B. Fleming

Rae Fleming's previous biographical investigations include a biography of Sir William Mackenzie, an edited collection of essays on biography, and a recent commissioned biography, not yet published. He has also written several articles, most of them biographical in one way or another, for The Beaver magazine. Rae lives in Argyle, Ontario.