Friday, November 25, 2005

The Mackenzie King Diary

The Mackenzie King Diary - This is an online exhibit from the National Archives of Canada. William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada's Prime Minister from 1921-1926, 1926-1930 and 1935-1948.

His last term as Prime Minister of Canada put him in charge during World War II. Often overshadowed by the big three (FDR, Churchill, and Stalin), Mackenzie was also an important allied leader. He got Canada into the war early and Canadian troops participated in the liberation of Europe.

From the site:

Increasingly, William Lyon Mackenzie King is viewed as one of Canada's greatest Prime Ministers. However, King's accomplishments are not restricted to the realm of politics. Throughout his entire adult life, King was a dedicated - one might even say driven - writer. Although King was an exceedingly prolific correspondent and the author of numerous books and articles, by far his most important literary project was the ongoing, daily writing of his diary, which began in 1893, while he was an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, and ended in 1950, a few days before his death at his beloved Kingsmere Estate. Taken together, the diary texts comprise nearly 30,000 pages (more than 7,500,000 words) and arguably represent one of Canada's greatest literary achievements. According to the noted critic Robert Fulford, King's diary "might turn out to be the only Canadian work of our century that someone will look at in 500 years."

A Real Companion and Friend: The Diary of William Lyon Mackenzie King, 1893-1950 Web site serves to introduce King's extensive diary to contemporary readers. This background section of the Web site is intended to serve as an introduction, exploring these remarkable texts, both as revealing personal narratives and as an invaluable record of Canada's political and social history during six formative and crucial decades. Furthermore, it examines the little-known history of the diary as an archival document, including the decision to save the texts for posterity (contrary to King's stated wishes).

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