Birth of a Country

Last night on the CBC Indian Grove Productions aired its drama, John A.: Birth of a Country, based on the first volume of Richard Gwyn’s  biography of John A. Macdonald. I  loved it.

More, more. Please. The second volume of  the  biography is out and I hope Indian Grove has already started work.

The voices, the Scottish-Canadian accents.  The portrait of George Brown! (This especially.) The role of women: very welcome. The parliamentary scenes! The sheer huge drama of the story.

Ours is a big story. And here at last is a company that can tell it.

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4 Responses to “Birth of a Country”


  1. 1 Anne L September 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I saw this in Halifax earlier in the week and thought of you. I too thought it was terrific and want more.

  2. 2 Alastair Sweeny (@AlastairSweeny) September 28, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Janet: the production values, visualization and acting were all terrific, but as a partisan of Cartier, I found the historical reality left something to be desired. I guess three way drama is harder to write than two way drama.

    • 3 janetajzenstat September 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm

      I agree, Alastair. We did not hear enough from Cartier. We didn’t get the story of Brown’s cooperation with Cartier.

      Brown wanted to get “French-Canadianism” out of the federation’s national legislature. Cartier wanted matters concerning French Canadians securely located in the provincial legislature. In the debates in the Canadian legislative assembly they were a team.

  3. 4 Andrew September 28, 2011 at 10:42 am

    It is silly of the CBC to give Sir John A. a Scottish accent. I don’t know of many five-year-old immigrants who have retained the accent of their homeland.
    According to Vol. 1 of Gwyn, Macdonald had an accent typical of the Bay of Quinte milieu in which he grew up.
    (It may be that later, Macdonald the politician affected a Scottish burr among immigrants, rather like Bill Vander Zalm, who grew up in BC and whose Dutch accent is fake.)


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