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McLeod. Carol.

Hantsport (N.S.), Lancelot Press, c1985. 178pp, paper, $7.95, ISBN 0-88999-290-8.

Grade 6 and up
Reviewed by Joan Kerrigan

Volume 14 Number 4
1986 July

Lancelot Press has published two other books by Carol McLeod: Legendary Canadian Women (1983) and Glimpses into New Brunswick History (1983). As a free, lance writer, McLeod has covered some important aspects of Canadian life, and Wives of the Canadian Prime Ministers is no exception.

Some of the wives have been easier subjects to research than others. There is very little information available about Mary Abbott and Harriet Bowell, whose husbands were not well-known either. There is far more material about the wives of our more famous leaders, even those from earlier days. For example, McLeod is able to draw an interesting and perceptive picture of Agnes Macdonald, the second wife of our first prime minister, partly because Macdonald kept a personal diary about much of her life with her brilliant, but eccentric husband.

An important feature of these mini-biographies are the black-and-white photographs that are of excellent quality. They will also provide readers with a view of the fashions that were in vogue during the time the husbands were in power.

The role of the prime minister's wife has become much more visible to the public, particularly since the advent of television. In fact, much is made of the part that Mila Mulroney played in her husband's successful bid to become Canada's leader. On the other hand, Margaret Trudeau and Maureen McTeer may have lost a few votes for their husbands by going public about some of their controversial views.

Wives of the Canadian Prime Ministers is written in a simple, anecdotal style that will be read easily by students in elementary and secondary schools. Recommended for Canadian school libraries.

Joan Kerrigan, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, Ont.
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