Robert Bond: The Greatest Newfoundlander

Author: Ted Rowe
Pages: 250
Dimensions: 8.5 × 5.5 × .5 in
Weight: .5 kg
Published: March 20, 2017
ISBN: 9781771031011

The foremost political figure from the years of responsible government in Newfoundland, Robert Bond led a spectacularly successful but often tortured life. Cultured and well-to-do, he tried to play the game of politics like a gentleman, and over a period of 30 years never suffered a defeat at the polls.

During his remarkable career, he built a reputation as a statesman, negotiating two trade agreements with the United States and reclaiming Newfoundland’s rights to the French Shore. In the dark days following the bank crash of 1894, he personally intervened to save the country from bankruptcy. As prime minister he led a scrupulous and scandal-free administration.

In private life, he was a recluse. He idolized his mother, never married, agonized over his health, and suffered a tortured relationship with his mentor William Whiteway. His place of solace was Whitbourne, where he built a magnificent country estate, complete with an elegant manor house, beautiful gardens and a working farm.

This carefully researched and engaging biography delves into Bond’s life and times, following him from his school days in St. John’s and England to his rapid rise in politics in the 1880s and ’90s and his time as prime minister in the first decade of the twentieth century. Along the way it reveals Bond’s relationship with the unforgettable characters in this formative and turbulent time in Newfoundland politics.

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