Judy Donnelly was project director and co-editor of Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing. She was project manager for the History of the Book in Canada/Histoire du livre et de l'imprimé au Canada, and is an avid Canadian book historian.
Personal Statement About Topic:
Jack McClelland and McClelland & Stewart have been in my life for twenty years, since Carl Spadoni and I began working on A Bibliography of McClelland & Stewart Imprints, 1909-1985: A Publisher's Legacy (Toronto, 1994). A subsequent contract as research assistant for James King's Jack: A Life with Writers; The Story of Jack McClelland (Toronto, 1999) enabled me to more closely examine the vast M&S papers and Jack McClelland's own archives at McMaster. Reading hundreds of letters he wrote - many dictated late at night with a drink and smoke in hand - gave me an intense appreciation for this complex man and for his extraordinary commitment to his company, his authors, and his country. It was an honour to meet him over lunch here in Hamilton (he spoke mostly of an idea he had at the time, involving children's books and a fast food outlet) and I mourned his loss in 2004. Jack McClelland was a great Canadian hero. It's an honour to write about him and the company he led for so many years.