The Firebrand: William Lyon Mackenzie and the Rebellion in Upper Canada

By Martin, Ged | British Journal of Canadian Studies, January 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

The Firebrand: William Lyon Mackenzie and the Rebellion in Upper Canada


Martin, Ged, British Journal of Canadian Studies


William Kilbourn, The Firebrand: William Lyon Mackenzie and the Rebellion in Upper Canada, introduction by Ronald Stagg (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2008), 326 pp. Paper. £13.99. ISBN 978-1-55002-800-3.

The Firebrand was first published in 1956, and is here reissued in Dundurn's Voyageur Classics series, 'Books That Explore Canada'. Although this biography of 1837 rebel William Lyon Mackenzie was enjoyable to read, I never felt easy with it. This was not, I hope, simply academic snobbery towards its lively style of atmospheric but un-footnoted reconstruction, but rather because William Kilbourn portrayed Mackenzie as a loveable rogue. My reading of Mackenzie's scurrilous newspapers was that he was an unpleasant rabble-rouser, and it was only the far more Himalayan grasping nastiness of the Upper Canada élite that gave him a heroic historical niche. Certainly, the rebellion that he attempted to lead in 1837 was irresponsibly conceived and incompetently led. Ronald Stagg's introduction to this new edition solves the mystery of Kilbourn's Mackenzie by focusing firmly upon Kilbourn himself. A 'flamboyant and popular teacher' (p. 10), then at McMaster University and later a pioneer of the humanities programme at York, Kilbourn identified closely with the Liberal Party of Canada. If less than a power-broker, he was more than a groupie, someone with a knack of being present when key events happened, for instance getting in on the ground floor of Trudeaumania. In the mid-1950s, the Anglo- Canadian liberal tradition, whether with a small or large 'L', had to take account of Mackenzie, both chronologically and causally, not least because the party's apparent status as Canada's natural government was the legacy of the Firebrand's distinctly non-fizzling grandson, William Lyon Mackenzie King. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Firebrand: William Lyon Mackenzie and the Rebellion in Upper Canada
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.