Scottish aristocrats John Campbell Gordon (1847–1934) and Ishbel Marjoribanks Gordon (1857–1939), known as the Aberdeens, rejected both revolution and reaction in their political careers. The aristocratic progressivism and egalitarian marriage of these fervent liberals confounded both contemporaries and historians. John, as viceroy of Ireland and governor-general of Canada, was a notable ally of feminists, workers, and Irish Home Rulers. Ishbel, his viceregal companion and the long-time president of the International Council of Women, was a liberal feminist and Home Ruler whose commitments stirred up even more controversy.
Superbly written and informed by decades of research, Liberal Hearts and Coronets is the first biography to treat John Campbell Gordon as seriously as his better-known wife. Examining the Aberdeens’ remarkable careers as landlords, philanthropists, and international progressives, Veronica Strong-Boag casts the twilight of the British aristocracy in an entirely new light.
About the author
Veronica Strong-Boag is a professor of women’s and gender studies and of educational studies at the University of British Columbia. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and a past president of the Canadian Historical Association. She has written widely on the history of Canadian women and children—including studies of the 1920s and 30s, the experience of post—WW II suburbia, Nellie L. McClung, E. Pauline Johnson, childhood disabilities, and modern neo-conservatism’s attack on women and children—and has won the John A. Macdonald Prize in Canadian History, the 2012 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences awarded by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and, with Carole Gerson, the Raymond Klibansky Prize in the Humanities. In 2012 Strong-Boag was awarded the Tyrrell Medal from the Royal Society of Canada for outstanding work in Canadian history. She is the author of Fostering Nation: Canada Confronts Its History of Childhood Disadvantage (WLU Press, 2010).
‘Strong-Boag’s research on the Aberdeens is exhaustive and her assessment of them even-handed… This is history with its many strands intertwines with critical biography and it is very, very good.
BC Studies February 2016
‘Veronica Strong-Boag’s joint biography of Lord and Lady Aberdeen draws upon comprehensive research, and her grasp of detail is flawless… This book offers a valuable wider perspective on imperial administrators who form an important part of Canada’s history.’
British Journal of Canadian History vol 30:01:2017
‘This book provides a window into social reform agendas and methods over the course of several decades, in multiple socio-political contexts, and the complicated dynamics that determine their outcomes.’
Canadian Historical Review vol 97:02:2016
Other titles by Veronica Strong-Boag
A Liberal-Labour Lady
The Times and Life of Mary Ellen Spear Smith
The Last Suffragist Standing
The Life and Times of Laura Marshall Jamieson
Paddling Her Own Canoe
The Times and Texts of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)
In Times Like These
Painting the Maple
Essays on Race, Gender, and the Construction of Canada
Canada Confronts Its History of Childhood Disadvantage
Vulnerable Children and Youth in Twentieth-Century Canada and the United States
Finding Families, Finding Ourselves
English Canada Encounters Adoption from the 19th Century to the 1990s
Children’s Health Issues in Historical Perspective
The Complete Autobiography