Dalhousie Law Journal


History, inanimate forces, human automatons, men and women, biography, synthesis, historical context


According to Donald G. Creighton wrote, "History is not made by inanimate forces and human automatons: it is made by living men and women ... which can best be understood by that insight into character . . . which is one of the great attributes of literary art."' The form of that literary art is the biography, a synthesis of an individual's life, activities, ideas, attitudes and character, placed within an historical context. The biographer must look beyond the public perception into the private life of his subject in hopes of better understanding and explaining his character and actions. That is what David R. Williams has set out to do in his biography of one of Canada's most noted jurists, Sir Lyman Poore Duff. Through the assistance of the Canada Council and Osgoode Society, Williams, lawyer, historian and writer-in-residence in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria, has made a valuable contribution to legal-historical scholarship in Canada.