The Loner: Three Sketches of the Personal Life and Ideas of R.B. Bennett, 1870–1947
Published: September 1992© 1992
130 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 x 1.00 in
Canada’s bachelor prime ministers have always provided extraordinary material for biographers. Richard Bedford Bennett is no exception. In this volume P.B. Waite offers three entertaining essays on the personal life of Canada’s Depression prime minister.
The first essay is set in New Brunswick, where Bennett grew up. It focuses on Bennett’s youth and the early influences on his character: school, church, and family. The second, covering his years as a Calgary businessman and an Ottawa MP, explores the development of Bennett’s political ideas, his views on the British Empire and Canada’s place within it. The third essay covers his years as Conservative leader and prime minister; it deals with the women in Bennett’s life, particularly his close relationship with his sister and his romance with Hazel Kemp Colville.
After his death in 1947, Bennett’s devoted secretary destroyed many of his personal papers. Waite has risen masterfully to his challenge. In his skilful hands the private Bennett is revealed in a new and fascinating light.