William Dawson Le Sueur (1840-1917), a Canadian Man of Letters the Sage of Ottawa

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William Dawson LeSueur was a complex man: social critic, persuasive journalist, revisionist historian, Canadian nationalist, feminist, educator, positive philosopher, and follower of Comte, Spencer and Henry George. He contributed something of his own critical skepticism to the nexus of transatlantic thought with the rigor of an intellect that rivaled some of Europe's finest minds.


"With penetrating insights and prodigious scholarship, Clifford G. Holland has written an excellent introduction to the life and thought of William Dawson LeSueur (1840-1917) that is both informative and relevant. . . . In the final analysis, LeSueur's own legacy is the intellectual inspiration his writings offer to all serious thinkers. Surely it deserves to be remembered, and Holland has authored a volume that is a major contribution to the history of ideas." - Brock Review

"Broad in scope, thorough in research, fluent in style. . . . Holland gives valuable summaries of some of the vigorous public debates into which LeSueur's convictions led him. The issues at stake in these discussions were Renaissance in range - from women's rights to prayer in schools to the content of university curricula, and from the impact of evolutionary theory on Christian theology to bilingualism and biculturalism to the perils of party politics. . . . It is a compelling plea for us to revalue LeSueur's place in Canada's cultural and intellectual evolution, and to revisit the insights he offers into the issues we face today." - Interchange

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