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LETTERS LN CANADA: 1948 277 Catharine McC. Brickenden's farce-comedy .in three acts A Pig in a Poke has already been tested before various Canadian audiences and found entertaining.1 Only one (interior) setting is required for it, and none of the characters will be very difficult for even an inexperienced Canadian actor to play, so that there may be directors who will wish to take advantage of the acting edition of the play. CHECK-LIST OF TITLES BRADEN (BERNARD), These English; drawings by JoHN A. HALL {Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, xiv, 240 pp., $3.00). BRICKENDEN (C. McC.), A pig in a poke (Canadian playwright series; Toronto, French, 72 pp., 80c.). JoNES (E. M.) ed., Canadian school plays, series one (Toronto, Ryerson, xii, 201 pp., $1.40). SINCLAIR (LISTER), A play on words & other radio plays (Toronto, Dent, xii, 298 pp., $3.50). IV. SOCIAL STUDIES* A. BRADY A feature of social studies in 1948 was the wide variety of historical writing, ranging from a volume on the politics and constitution of England in ·the thirteenth century to histories of the Canadian Press and the Massey-Harm firm. Politics and the Constitution~ 1216-1307J by Professor B. Wilkinson of the University of Toronto, is primarily a collection of documents selected to illustrate the forces which shaped the development of the British constitution in a crucial era. It contains a general introduction of sixty-seven pages, combined with brief introductory comments on the documents in each of the five chapters, along with a generous sprinkling of bibliographical foot-notes. The book covers territory formerly traversed by the classic Select Charters of Bishop Stubbs, first published in 1870. But here the selection is different, not merely in that it abridges and translates documents contained in the Stubbs volume, but because it includes- other primary material illustrating the social and political forces operative at the time. Thus it is intended to illuminate not merely consti· tutional evolution in the narrow sense, but the struggle of powerful inter~ ests, notably those of king and barons, and the clash of political principles and ideals. The introductions and notes are precise and clear, and the book will be welcomed by undergraduates and others who seek to understand medieval England. Less technical history is The English-speaking Peoples by Professors Edgar Mcinnis and J. H. S. Reid, which is a broad historical survey in thirty-seven chapters of the countries in the English-speaking world, opening with the revolutionary settlement of 1689. The volume deals with the data of constitutions, politics, commerce, and industry, but .in the main lJt was performed under the author's direction in 1948 by the Simcoe Little Theatre in the Western Ontario Region of the Dominion Drama Festival where it won the Fuller Shield and the Jamieson Shield. *The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance generously given by two colleagues , Dr. Karl Helleiner and Dr. W. T. Easterbrook. 278 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY it is narrative history, exhibiting skill and clarity. Since the range of the theme is wide, the narrative is often hurried and sketchy. The authors have not the space to stop and analyse the complex forces of politics and economics which detennine the sequence of events. Likewise they have inadequate space to portray the many interesting and dominant person~ alities who have given political leadership. It might be complained that they have dwelt too much upon the separate evolution of these countries and too little upon the unifying elements possessed in common. They deal with political units, but these units constitute a community. We should like, for example, to read more about the ties of a common culture, in so far as a common culture exists, and about the stream of ideas and folkways which give to the English-speaking world an identity. But while the authors have not explored all such matters, they have successfully sketched out the political evolution in simple and lucid terms and discussed the principal interrelations and mteractions of these countries over the last two centuries. They exhibit throughout a sense for perspective and an instinct for balance. Among the studies dealing specifically with Canadian history the most fresh and scholarly is Church...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 277-286
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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