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The Firebrand

William Lyon Mackenzie and the Rebellion in Upper Canada

by William Kilbourn
introduction by Ronald Stagg

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historical, pre-confederation (to 1867), political
list price: $24.99
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
published: 2008
ISBN:9781550028003
publisher: Dundurn
Description

In The Firebrand, William Kilbourn brings to life the rebel Canadian hero William Lyon Mackenzie. A skilled historian and an entertaining writer, Kilbourn reveals Mackenzie’s complex character: able political editor, shrewd recorder of his times, efficient first mayor of Toronto, and gadfly of the House of Assembly.

Kilbourn vividly recreates the ill-fated Mackenzie-led march on Toronto during the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, an uprising of brave but comical farmers unprepared to meet musket and cannon, and deftly portrays the rebellion’s aftermath and Mackenzies subsequent escape and exile. A reprint of William Mackenzie’s own account of the Upper Canada Rebellion is featured.

This touching, frequently hilarious book was originally published by Clarke, Irwin in 1956 and remained in print through numerous reprintings and editions for several decades, garnering praise such as "The Firebrand is a major step on the path to nationhood" (Globe and Mail).

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Contributor notes

William Kilbourn (1926–1995) was a noted author, activist, and Toronto politician. He was a Toronto alderman and the founding chairman of the Humanities Division at York University. His books include Toronto Observed: Its Architecture, Patrons, and History and Toronto Remembered: A Celebration of the City.

Ronald Stagg is the chair of the Department of History at Ryerson University in Toronto and is the co-author of The Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837.

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Editorial Review

"William Kilbourn was a first rate historian and a gifted storyteller. Using a combination of primary and secondary sources, he takes the reader back to Upper Canada in the 1820s and 30s. In his hands, Mackenzie and the Family Compact members come to life ... Kilbourn's book could be used as a text or for creational reading. Originally published in 1956, it has a new introduction written by historian Ronald Stagg who helped co-edit a book of documents on the 1837 rebellion. Highly Recommended."

— CM Magazine
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About the Authors

William Kilbourn

William Kilbourn (1926-1995) was a noted author, activist, and Toronto politician. He was a Toronto alderman and the founding chairman of the Humanities Division at York University. His books include Toronto Observed: Its Architecture, Patrons, and History and Toronto Remembered: A Celebration of the City.

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Ronald Stagg

Ronald Stagg has taught at Ryerson University for over thirty years, specializing in Canadian history. He has written on subjects ranging from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century and served ten years as chair of Ryerson's history department. He lives in Toronto.

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