In ten original studies, former students and colleagues of Maurice Careless, one of Canada’s most distinguished historians, explore both traditional and hitherto neglected topics in the development of nineteenth-century Ontario. Their papers incorporate the three themes that characterize their mentor’s scholarly efforts: metropolitan-hinterland relations; urban development; and the impact of ’limited identities’ — gender, class, ethnicity and regionalism — that shaped the lives of Old Ontarians.
Traditional topics — colonial-imperial tension and the growth of Canadian autonomy in the Union period, the making of a ’compact’ in early York, politics in pre-Rebellion Toronto, and the social vision of the late Upper Canadian elites — are re-examined with fresh sensitivity and new sources. Maters about which little has been written — urban perspectives on rural and Northern Ontario, Protestant revivals, an Ontario style in church architecture, the late-nineteenth-century ready-made clothing industry, Native-Newcomer conflict to the 1860s, and the separate and unequal experiences of women and men student teachers at the Provincial Normal school — receive equally insightful treatment.
An appreciative biography of Careless, an analysis of the relativism underpinning his approach to national and Ontario history, and a listing of Careless’s publications, complete this stimulating collection.