By Louise Reynolds
Agnes Macdonald's inner most papers are used for the certain examine of Canada's "first lady," who grew to become Sir John A. Macdonald's moment spouse at the eve of Confederation. The author's well-researched telling of Agnes's tale paints an image of a politically astute, clearly adventurous lady who needed to swap her kind as a result of her place within the public eye, yet who however retained her personal critiques and lived her existence with braveness and integrity.
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Extra resources for Agnes: The Biography of Lady Macdonald
Inherited. In September, 1841, Hugh Macdonald died, and, soon after, under the strain of work and too much responsibility, John A. became ill. The family's great faith in the restorative powers of a visit to the land of his ancestors led him across the sea. It was one of many such trips he was to take in the search for health and one that was to have far-reaching effects. He went first to London, where he made many friendships that would long endure, and then went up to Scotland. This was what the family expected him to do.
In February and during much of March he was ill with 'flu and away from the House a good part of the time. ) Nevertheless, Agnes did begin to take an interest in Canadian politics about this time. This is scarcely surprising: Theodora was happy to be back in an atmosphere which had once been part of her life; politics seemed likely to become a way of life for Hewitt; and, in consequence, the subject must have been discussed frequently in their new home. Agnes even went to the House sometimes, perhaps hoping for a 24 glimpse of that 'forcible yet changeful face', but it was not until July that she saw John A.
The opportunity to continue these friendships must have been especially happy for Theodora. After the Bernards had left Barrie, she had been the one who had held on most strongly to the old ties with her friends there and kept up correspondence with several of them, especially with Mrs. Patton. In these letters she heard how their little society was getting on; for example: 'Mrs. Gowan gave another small party; it was confined to young people.. . Music — cards and games were the order of the evening — it passed off very pleasantly indeed.