After John A. Macdonald’s death, four Tory prime ministers — each remarkable but all little known — rose to power and fell in just five years.
From 1891 to 1896, between John A. Macdonald’s and Wilfrid Laurier’s tenures, four lesser-known men took on the mantle of leadership. Tory prime ministers John Abbott, John Thompson, Mackenzie Bowell, and Charles Tupper headed the government of Canada in rapid succession. Each came to the job with qualifications and limitations, and each left after unexpectedly short terms. Yet these reluctant prime ministers are an important part of our political legacy. Their roles were much more than caretakers between the administrations of two great leaders. Personal tragedy, terrible health issues, backstabbing, and political manipulation all led to their eventual downfalls. The Lost Prime Ministers is the dramatic saga of these overlooked Canadian leaders.