File 24 - King, William Lyon Mackenzie to Arthur King.

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King, William Lyon Mackenzie to Arthur King.

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  • December 29, 1945 (Creation)
    King, William Lyon Mackenzie

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Biographical history

"William Lyon Mackenzie King had a long political career. He was leader of the Liberal Party for 29 eventful years through the buoyant expansion of the 1920s, the depression of the 1930s, the shock of World War II, and then the post-war reconstruction, and for 21 of these years he was Canada’s prime minister. His decisions during this time contributed significantly to the shaping of Canada and to its development as an influential middle power in world affairs. During his lifetime his achievements were sometimes obscured by a style notable for its compromises. After his death his political career was sometimes overshadowed by the revelation of his unsuspected personal idiosyncrasies."

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Scope and content

Typewritten letter marked "Personal" from William Lyon Mackenzie King to his nephew Arthur King on December 29, 1945 expressing his pleasure at receiving from Arthur and Kathleen, John Erskine’s book The Human Life of Jesus. [1] He emphasizes the importance of the life of Jesus to mankind, and says “I am so glad you have made this particular selection as a Christmas gift. You could have thought of nothing more appropriate and, I may add, nothing which to myself could bring a fuller measure of joy. To you both, I send my warmest thanks for a present I shall always greatly treasure and which will be to me an added strength and inspiration as I continue to go on toward the distant horizon and the glow which I hope may be mine as one approaches the close of one’s earthly life.” King the offers to pay the entire cost of a radio cabinet to hold Arthur and Kathleen’s collection of records, a sum greater than the original amount previously sent to them. King mentions “the little talk” they had on Christmas Day; also that he intends to send a fresh supply of vitamins. [2]
Salutation: “My dear Arthur” [handwritten]; Signature: “Please let this letter bring to you and to Kathleen my very best of wishes for this New Year and My fondest love, Yours affectionately , Uncle Willie” [handwritten].
Includes handwritten corrections.

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Donated by John English in 2019.


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Physical description

Letter: 3 p. (of 4, folded leaf) ; 20 x 16 cm.
Printed letterhead: Laurier House, Ottawa.

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Described May 2019 by JSB.

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  • English

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[1] John Erskine, Human Life of Jesus:
[2] Vitamins were not manufactured as such until after 1935 and may not have been readily available:

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