My Dearest Wife

Overview

The private and public lives of James David Edgar and Matilda Ridout Edgar symbolized the increasingly complex nature of Toronto society as older generations gradually gave way to a new generation of "outsiders" seeking fame and prominence.

James David Edgar (1841-1899), a self-made man, born to proud though impoverished Scottish-immigrant parents in Quebec, became a lawyer, an author, a railway promoter, an M.P. and ultimately speaker of the House of Commons in Ottawa. Matilda Ridout Edgar (1845-1910) was one of Canada’s first widely respected female historians and ultimately president of the National Council of Women of Canada from 1906 until her death.

This dual biography, revealed through the voices of James and Matilda, as expressed through correspondence, provides insights into 19th-century Canadian history, and presents a mutually supportive marital relationship, each encouraging professional fulfillment for the other – a stance surprising in this era of male dominance.

About the Authors

Maud J. McLean

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Maud J. McLean

A resident of Oakville, Ontario, Maud Jocelyn McLean's varied and extensive background includes a number of years in the teaching of music, Canadian history and English literature. Her background also involves public speaking and, for seven years, as Joy McLean, she was heard daily on the CBC National Radio program Kindergarten of the Air.

Robert M. Stamp

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Robert M. Stamp

A native of Toronto, Dr. Robert Miles Stamp is currently a historian at the University of Calgary. Educated at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto, it was at the latter that Stamp wrote his M.A. thesis on The Political Career of Sir James David Edgar. Canadian history, particularly social and transportation-related, has long held his interest and has been the subject of many of the books he has authored.