Welcome to Martinalia. An academic career generates material which for one reason or another does not get into print. There are public lectures and keynote addresses. Some are never intended for publication. Others are commissioned for projects which never get off the ground. There is material prepared for teaching, which may be useful to colleagues and students involved in similar courses. Some projects seem worth sharing with interested readers even though they remain unfinished, lacking the final polish needed for conventional academic publication. Since 2014 I have used Martinalia to publish essays and research reports. 

The term “Martinalia” was coined by my friend Jim Sturgis.  

Michael Augustus Gathercole (c. 1802 - 1886 ) Controversial Anglican Cleric

Michael Augustus Gathercole was an unusual Anglican clergyman. A Nonconformist by birth, he was combative, ambitious and financially irresponsible. 

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The British Government and the Red River, 1869-71 (Manitoba DoJ Report)

In 2002, The Department of Justice, Government of Canada commissioned a historical report on the intentions of the British government regarding the transfer of the Red River to the Dominion of Canada in 1869-71. The report focused on an argument associated with the case of the Manitoba Metis Federation et al. versus the Attorneys-General of Manitoba and Canada. The argument was that, by passing the British North America Act of 1871, the imperial parliament at Westminster had incorporated the terms of the Dominion's 1870 Manitoba Act as a fundamental part of Canada's constitution. With the able help of the London-based historical researcher Judy Collingwood, this interesting question permitted a re-examination of the British role in the founding of Manitoba.


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Documentary Film in Canadian Studies


In my teaching of Canadian Studies courses at the University of Edinburgh , I made use of documentary film from the National Film Board of Canada. The following notes were prepared to assist students in using this form of study material. They were compiled in the 1990s, and the recommended reading has not been updated. 

Background notes were prepared for three documentaries: "THE CHAMPIONS" (Parts 1 and 2 ), made in 1978, JOURNEY WITHOUT ARRIVAL (made in 1975) and FLORA: SCENES FROM A CONVENTION (made in 1976).

THE CHAMPIONS traced the rivalry between Pierre Trudeau and René Lévesque. JOURNEY WITHOUT ARRIVAL was an examination of the interpretation of Canada by Northrop Frye. FLORA: SCENES FROM A CONVENTION followed Flora MacDonald's bid to become leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1976. These films were subsequently made available through the website of the National Film Board of Canada.

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Punch's Fancy Portraits: A Handlist

Between 1880 and 1889, cartoonist Linley Sambourne contributed almost 200 cartoons of contemporary personalities to the London magazine Punch, in a format called "Fancy Portraits". The Handlist identifies the individuals illustrated.

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Winston Churchill : Wartime Traveller (revised, 2018)

This essay was written in the early 1990s as part of preparatory work for a project on Churchill. It is based largely on Martin Gilbert's magisterial biography and Churchill's own writings on the Second World War. It is included among Martinalia because the many studies of Churchill as a war leader do not seem to focus precisely upon the effect of his love of travel. Revised version October 2018.

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John A Macdonald: Scotsman or Canadian?

This is the text delivered as the seventh in the series of Standard Life Lectures in Canadian Studies at the University of Edinburgh, in October 2004.

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