By Terry Crowley
Oscar Skelton (1878-1941) used to be a widespread early-twentieth century student who turned a civil servant and political consultant to best ministers Mackenzie King and R.B. Bennett. He wrote a few very important books and one, Socialism: A severe Analysis, was once hugely praised by way of Vladimir Lenin. His spouse, Isabel Skelton (1877-1956), wrote greatly approximately literature and heritage; she used to be the 1st historian to regard ladies from the country's earlier separately of their personal correct instead of as a generalized classification. either husband and spouse promoted the concept that Canada was once an self sustaining country that now not wanted Britain's tutelage.
Terry Crowley has written a different double biography that examines the lives of Isabel and Oscar, their works, and their careers. He exhibits how either participants of their personal method stimulated the improvement of Canada as a kingdom kingdom. Crowley questions why, whilst either Isabel and Oscar wrote influential works, Oscar's occupation blossomed, whereas Isabel is still almost unrecognized. He concludes that regardless of Isabel's literary accomplishments, her existence remained enmeshed in family and relations roles, whereas Oscar's upward thrust to prominence was once facilitated by way of male scholarly and publishing networks in addition to the aid that ladies supplied to men's careers. This booklet strains the lives of 2 those that rejected British colonialism and hailed a brand new state at the world's degree, interpreting the intersections of gender, nationality, and literary expression at an important juncture in Canada's history.
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Additional info for Marriage of Minds: Isabel and Oscar Skelton Reinventing Canada (Studies in Gender and History) by Terry Crowley (2003-10-09)
The answer, she believed, lay in the way technology's overriding influence directed readers to a supposed golden age where such apparent virtues as love had prevailed. As a liberal progressive who believed that literature needed to reflect contemporary interest in sociological problems, Isabel was critical of both Edith Wharton and Mary Ward for writing assuredly only about society's upper reaches. What she admired most in their work was their use of language and vivid characterization. Their 36 Marriage of Minds 'use of words, even moderation of statement, and at all times a proper restraint,' Isabel thought, 'are distinguishing characteristics of both.
12 Discussions about Canada's role in the British Empire were lively since the imperialist scramble for Africa and Joseph Chamberlain's appointment as colonial secretary in Britain in 1895 had aroused interest in the subject of closer imperial relations, as had the Laurier Liberals' imperial preference on British products entering Canada in 1897. Coming from a Conservative family and studying in a uni- A Critical Canadian Commitment 25 versity whose principal prided himself on the promotion of empire, Oscar at first reacted with trepidation when he was assigned the negative side in a student debate on imperial federation at the beginning of 1899.
Initially he remained at the university to take the spring and summer quarters, although he had determined to return to Kingston. After just one term Chicago offered a job in political economy, but he did not relish the prospect of teaching American financial and tariff history in the United States. When Adam Shortt managed to secure him a Queen's fellowship that was worth $500 and carried the prospect of permanent appointment, he accepted. As the work in Kingston required only the marking of student papers and examinations as well as teaching a lower-level course in economics weekly, Oscar devoted part of his time to publishing informed, if innocuous, journalistic pieces in such publications as the Toronto Globe, Outlook, and Saturday Night magazine.