Knight of the Holy Spirit: A study of William Lyon Mackenzie King

By Joy E. Esberey

© 1980

This study of the personality of William Lyon Mackenzie King challenges the view that he led  'a double life. ' Through a blending of psycho-biography and political analysis, Joy Esberey shows how King 's personality traits influenced his political behaviour, and how his personal and public life were an integrated whole, neither contradictory nor unrelated. She explores the various traumas of his early family life, resulting in difficulties with autonomy and adequate occupational and sexual roles. She also discusses the dimensions of neurotic trends, including problems associated with his mother 's death, the significance of his religious beliefs and need for spiritualism, the cult of money, and obsessive-compulsive defence mechanisms.

King was greatly concerned with the Tennysonian ideal of knightly conduct -- pure and heroic social leadership. This trait is defined in terms of relationships with women and with such men as Lord Tweedsmuir, Loring Christie, and Vincent Massey.

His role as policy maker is considered in light of the assertion that consensus rather than compromise characterized his behaviour. This hypothesis is explored through a study of tariff policy and relations with Britain, and through the model of King as peacemaker and his visit to Hitler.Throughout the book, the author makes extensive use of King 's letters and diary, illuminating his personality and showing how, despite his quirks and oddities, he managed to keep himself in balance. This fresh view of King concludes with a brief description of consistencies and repetitions in his personal and political conduct in his declining years.

Short Description - This study of the personality of William Lyon Mackenzie King challenges the view that he led  'a double life. ' Through a blending of psycho-biography and political analysis, Joy Esberey shows how King 's personality traits influenced his political behaviour, and how his personal and public life were an integrated whole, neither contradictory nor unrelated.

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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP004888

  • PUBLISHED DEC 1980

    From: $21.71

    Regular Price: $28.95

    ISBN 9781487598396
  • PUBLISHED DEC 1980

    From: $23.21

    Regular Price: $30.95

Quick Overview

This study of the personality of William Lyon Mackenzie King challenges the view that he led 'a double life. ' Joy Esberey shows how King 's personality traits influenced his political behaviour, and how his personal and public life were an integrated whole, neither contradictory nor unrelated.

Knight of the Holy Spirit: A study of William Lyon Mackenzie King

By Joy E. Esberey

© 1980

This study of the personality of William Lyon Mackenzie King challenges the view that he led  'a double life. ' Through a blending of psycho-biography and political analysis, Joy Esberey shows how King 's personality traits influenced his political behaviour, and how his personal and public life were an integrated whole, neither contradictory nor unrelated. She explores the various traumas of his early family life, resulting in difficulties with autonomy and adequate occupational and sexual roles. She also discusses the dimensions of neurotic trends, including problems associated with his mother 's death, the significance of his religious beliefs and need for spiritualism, the cult of money, and obsessive-compulsive defence mechanisms.

King was greatly concerned with the Tennysonian ideal of knightly conduct -- pure and heroic social leadership. This trait is defined in terms of relationships with women and with such men as Lord Tweedsmuir, Loring Christie, and Vincent Massey.

His role as policy maker is considered in light of the assertion that consensus rather than compromise characterized his behaviour. This hypothesis is explored through a study of tariff policy and relations with Britain, and through the model of King as peacemaker and his visit to Hitler.Throughout the book, the author makes extensive use of King 's letters and diary, illuminating his personality and showing how, despite his quirks and oddities, he managed to keep himself in balance. This fresh view of King concludes with a brief description of consistencies and repetitions in his personal and political conduct in his declining years.

Short Description - This study of the personality of William Lyon Mackenzie King challenges the view that he led  'a double life. ' Through a blending of psycho-biography and political analysis, Joy Esberey shows how King 's personality traits influenced his political behaviour, and how his personal and public life were an integrated whole, neither contradictory nor unrelated.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Joy E. Esberey is a member of the Department of Political Science at Scarborough College, University of Toronto.