Donald Creighton: A Life in History

Category: Book
By (author): Wright, Donald A.
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / General
  EDUCATION / History
  HISTORY / Canada / General
  HISTORY / General
Audience: college/higher education
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Published: August 2015
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 496
Size: 9.25in x 6.40in x 1.32in
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$ 95.00
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

A member of the same intellectual generation as Harold Innis, Northrop Frye, and George Grant, Donald Creighton (1902–1979) was English Canada's first great historian. The author of eleven books, including The Commercial Empire of the St. Lawrence and a two-volume biography of John A. Macdonald, Creighton wrote history as if it "had happened," he said, "the day before yesterday." And as a public intellectual, he advised the prime minister of Canada, the premier of Ontario, and- at least on one occasion- the British government.

Yet he was, as Donald Wright shows, also profoundly out of step with his times. As the nation was re-imagined along bilingual and later multicultural lines in the 1960s and 1970s, Creighton defended a British definition of Canada at the same time as he began to fear that he would be remembered only "as a pessimist, a bigot, and a violent Tory partisan."

Through his virtuoso research into Creighton's own voluminous papers, Wright paints a sensitive portrait of a brilliant but difficult man. Ultimately, Donald Creighton captures the twentieth-century transformation of English Canada through the life and times of one of its leading intellectuals.

From The Publisher*

Through his virtuoso research into Creighton's own voluminous papers, Donald Creighton captures the twentieth-century transformation of English Canada through the life and times of one of its leading intellectuals.

Review Quote*

‘Wright has not only written the definitive biography of one of Canada's most important historians but provided us with a model of how a biography ought to be done.'

Review Quote*

‘Wright very self-consciously places his own biography within the romantic conventions of Creightonian history and romantic art, very appropriately joining together these two heroes. The great Canadian historian created the first hero; his biographer has created the second.'

Review Quote*

‘A beautifully written biography, easily the most ambitious biography I have read in a number of years.'

Review Quote*

‘Wright gives Creighton his due as an undeniably salient figure in Canada's intellectual history. In the process, he has created an invaluable guide for anyone who seeks to read and to understand Canada's preeminent historian.'

Review Quote*

‘Donald Wright has provided an admirably full and balanced account of the historian and the man… A powerful study of high art, flawed humanity, and the vicissitudes of reputation.'

Review Quote*

'Donald Creighton is a beautifully written biography, easily the most ambitious biography I have read in a number of years. And its attention to the psychology of the man, to the whole personality and life of its subject, is commendable.'