File 36 - King, William Lyon Mackenzie to Arthur King.

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King, William Lyon Mackenzie to Arthur King.

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  • December 26, 1947 (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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Typewritten letter marked "Personal" from William Lyon Mackenzie King to his nephew Arthur on December 26, 1947, expressing thanks for Arthur and his wife Kathleen's Christmas letter and gift to him of hand-painted tiles. “How sweet of you both to have remembered my admiration of the little paintings so exquisitely framed! I have already given them a place in my sunroom at Laurier House to which they are lending a note of added beauty and cheer. In the summer time I may take them to Kingsmere as well.” King continues in this effusive and somewhat repetitive vein, and again asks about their vitamin supply. King speculates that Arthur may have telephoned his mother and/or have written to her during the Christmas season, and informs Arthur that he had received a book from her entitled Human Destiny which he is looking forward to reading. [1]
Salutation: “My dear Arthur” [handwritten; Signature: “Again, with my warmest thanks to Kathleen and yourself for your lovely gift and letter, and much love to you both, Yours affectionately, Uncle Willie” [handwritten].
Includes handwritten corrections.

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Donated by John English in 2019.


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  • English

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Letter: 2 p. (of 4, folded leaf) ; 20 x 12 cm.
Printed letterhead: Office of the Prime Minister, Canada with Arms of Canada.

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Described May 2019 by JSB.

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  • English

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[1] Human destiny by Pierre Lecomte de Nouy:
Note on above page: "Re-interpreting the theory of evolution in the light of modern physics, Human Destiny argues that the strictly materialistic theory of the Universe, and of man, is no longer tenable. Man, it says, is not on this earth by chance alone - and the author presents a series of convincing arguments to indicate that by the laws of pure chance man, and even life, could not be here at all. Dr. du Nouy contends that science finds a purpose evident in the history of life which rises above the laws of matter."
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