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Alone at the Top
The Path to Power
Leading Canada
Private Life
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Banner: First Among Equals: The Prime Minister in Canadian Life and Politics
Banner: Private Life

Intimate Messages

Evidence of the strains of political life are found in the letters between prime ministers and their spouses. One wife, Edna Diefenbaker, suffered a mental breakdown under the stress of being an MP's wife. Most of these marriages occurred, of course, long before any leadership opportunities could be envisaged, but even then problems could be encountered: John Thompson had to write to his fiancée in shorthand to elude her disapproving parents.

Proactive Disclosure