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Winner of the 2005 Ottawa Book Award for Non-fiction , the 2005 University of British Columbia Award for Best Canadian Biography, and the Canadian Railroad Historical Association Award for Best Railway Book of the Year. William Van Horne was one of North America’s most accomplished men. Born in Illinois in 1843, he became a prominent railway figure in the United States before coming to Canada in 1881 to become general manager of the fledgling Canadian Pacific Railway. Van Horne pushed through construction of the CPR’s transcontinental line and went on to become company president. He also became one of Canada’s foremost financiers and art collectors, capping his career by opening Cuba’s interior with a railway.
Sir William Van Horne (1843–1915), a gifted connoisseur most famously associated with the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, amassed of one of the most extensive collections of Japanese ceramics in North America. Obsession is an illuminating account of the how and why behind his passion for studying and acquiring nearly 1,200 objects. Ron Graham assembles a profile of Van Horne's larger-than-life personality as well as essays about his place at the top of the art collectors in Montreal's Golden Square Mile and the afterlife of his collection following his death. Accompanying the texts are historical photographs and documents, a detailed catalogue of over three hundred individual pieces in the Royal Ontario Museum and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and a selection of beautiful reproductions of Van Horne's personal notebooks and exquisite watercolours from the archives of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Published in conjunction with a major exhibition at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Obsession presents a remarkable collection in the context of the life and career of a nineteenth-century Canadian business giant.
This special bundle contains the first thirty-five books in the Quest Biography series, which profiles the lives of Canadians who have had a profound effect on their country and the world. Some of these figures are truly famous, while others were quietly influential. Among the wide variety of people we meet are: prime ministers (Mackenzie King, Macdonald, Laurier, and more); artists (Emily Carr, Tom Thomson); explorers (David Thompson, Samuel de Champlain), politicians (René Lévesque, Joey Smallwood), writers (Robertson Davies, Gabrielle Roy), entertainers (Emma Albani, Mary Pickford), activists (Nellie McClung, Louis Riel, Harriet Tubman), and many, many more. Let this series be your primer on the greatest figures in Canadian history. Includes Emma Albani Emily Carr George Grant Jacques Plante John Diefenbaker John Franklin Phyllis Munday Wilfrid Laurier William Lyon Mackenzie King René Lévesque Samuel de Champlain John Grierson Lucille Teasdale Maurice Duplessis David Thompson Mazo de la Roche Susanna Moodie Gabrielle Roy Louis Riel James Wilson Morrice Vilhjalmur Stefansson Robertson Davies James Douglas William C. Van Horne George Simpson Tom Thomson Simon Girty Mary Pickford Harriet Tubman Laura Secord Joey Smallwood Prince Edward, Duke of Kent John A. Macdonald Marshall McLuhan

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