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Philip Girard

The John Bullen Prize

1999

Philip Girard, Patriot Jurist: Beamish Murdoch of Halifax, 1800-1878 (Dalhousie University).

Dr. Girard’s thesis provides a complex and sophisticated analysis of the life and times of one colonial lawyer. Using the genre of biography, readers are made privy to a broad range of topics, including a formidable analysis of Nova Scotia and British law, an original account of Murdoch’s stand against Joseph Howe’s campaign for responsible government, and a nuanced study of family, gender and professional relationship in the developing world of Halifax and colonial Nova Scotia. Dr. Girard demonstrates a masterly command of his extensive primary and secondary sources, while consistently engaging the reader with a crisp, literary style.

Honourable Mentions:
Robert A. Campbell, Hotel Beer Parlours: Regulating Public Drinking and Decency in Vancouver, British Columbia, 1925-1954 (Simon Fraser University).
Dr. Campbell interprets society’s responses to public drinking as driven by attempts at moral regulation, rather than by the vague concept ‘social control’. By this method of explaining behaviour as managed through a multiplicity of ‘regulatory actors’, Dr. Campbell recognises the complexity of human behaviour, thereby leading him to analyse how efforts to make regulation seem normal and natural in effect revealed negotiations that were both contested and constructed. The thesis is written in an engaging manner.

Matthew Hendley, Patriotic Leagues and the Evolution of Popular Patriotism and Imperialism in Great Britain, 1914-1932 (University of Toronto).

This work reveals the continuity of some Conservative imperial organisations which were able to adjust to the changes in British society brought about by the Great War. Demonstrating a daunting range of sources, Dr. Hendley contributes important ideas to an explanation of the survival and persistent influence of the Right in Britain during the interwar period. He is especially searching when illustrating the critical role played by British women in such organisations as the Victoria League and the Primrose League. The thesis effectively discusses women’s contribution to such issues as the family, education and the empire by an analysis of the metaphors in the rhetoric and pamphlets of the leagues. Dr. Hendley writes with a fluent prose style.