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The Architect & the Lady

Francis Rattenbury, architect of the legislative buildings in Victoria, B.C., lived four decades in wealth and glory, but then his career fizzled and his life languished. It was only when dazzling Alma Pakenham stepped into his world that his fortunes changed. Or seemed to.

Love in Code

Canada’s fourth prime minister, John Thompson, and his wife Annie were so passionate about each other that their long separations fueled an erotic intensity that animated their written communications.

Love in Another World

Even in familiar surroundings, falling in love can be an otherworldly experience. Imagine how it must have been for those who fell in love—or wished they could—in what was, quite literally, another world.

A Victorian Kama Sutra

Though it may seem the sex manual found its beginning in Alex Comfort’s 1974 bestseller The Joy of Sex, sex guides have had a long, although often covert, publishing history.

The Case of the Chaste Adulteress

The 1913 marriage was never consummated, and so Thomas and Lillian Orford parted. Six years later, she tried to revive the marriage. He spurned her. She sued for alimony. Only proof of her adultery would free him from obligation. And he had proof: She had had a child by another man. But Lillian was unfazed. She had an explanation for that.

Ruined Maids and Fallen Women: Seduction and the Law

Back in the days when men were men and women were property, a court might try a cad. Particularly if dad was mad.

Controlling Customs

A young, beautiful, and virginal bride and groom paired in eternal troth is the usual stuff of love’s sweet dream. But a wakeful world knows better. Many lovers through history have stubbornly resisted social standards. And sometimes society has had to make accommodation.

Remembering the Bluenose

Iconic schooner sank in Caribbean seven decades ago.


One of the few women to have been accorded a place in the history of the Canadian North is Thanadelthur, better known as the Slave Woman.

The editor’s bookshelf - January 25, 2017

A selection of recently released Canadian history titles.

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