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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cross biography of Robert Baldwin off the press

From Philip Girard, the news that Dr.Michael Cross's biography of Robert Baldwin is now available in bookstores. In Ottawa, at least. The Oxford University Press website is reporting a November 2012 availability. Maybe that's just online.

A Biography of Robert Baldwin: The Morning Star of Memory
by Michael Cross

In any event, this is welcome new to historians of Ontario. It was a little embarrassing that we had no book-length academic bio of Baldwin, one of the most significant Upper Canadians of the nineteenth century. And to legal historians: while Baldwin is primarily known as a political reformer, a recent book by legal historian Blake Brown, A Trying Question, has highlighted his extraordinary innovation in jury reform. He is also known (to me, mostly) as the progenitor of the Municipal Act of 1849, known as the Baldwin Act to contemporaries, an equally impressive reform in local governance. Here's hoping Professor Cross doesn't give short shrift to these legal arena achievements, though admittedly they are less spectacular than Baldwin's personal peccadilloes, which to my mind put Mackenzie King's to shame.

Thanks for the tip, Philip.

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