Betcherman, Lita-Rose 1927–
Betcherman, Lita-Rose 1927–
PERSONAL: Born 1927; married; husband's name Irving. Education: University of Toronto, Ph.D.
ADDRESSES: Home—Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Office—c/o Author Mail, William Morrow & Company, 10 E. 53rd St., 7th FL, New York, NY 10022.
CAREER: Labor arbitrator and historian. Former director of the Ontario Women's Bureau; former member of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and former vice-chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
MEMBER: Writers Union of Canada.
The Swastika and the Maple Leaf: Fascist Movements in Canada in the Thirties, Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1975.
The Little Band: The Clashes between the Communists and the Political and Legal Establishment in Canada, 1928–1932, Deneau (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 1982.
Ernest Lapointe: MacKenzie King's Great Quebec Lieutenant, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.
Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: For decades, Lita-Rose Betcherman combined careers as a historian and a labor arbitrator. As a historian, she has written several books, including Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England. The book documents the intertwined lives of Dorothy and Lucy Percy, daughters of the Earl of Northumberland, who had been imprisoned for sixteen years in the Tower of London for his supposed involvement in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. While Lucy married the man who later became Lord Carlisle and became a high-profile player in the royal courts of James I and Charles I, Dorothy married the Earl of Leicester, bore twelve children, and wielded her political power from the confines of her sprawling country estate. Betcherman's account seeks to bring details of the sisters' lives to light, from their similarities in exhibiting a will strong enough to enable them to choose their own husbands, to their divergent personalities, and their respective penchants for high fashion and intrigue during the English civil war. Writing in Booklist, Margaret Flanagan called the book a "fascinating dual biography," and Nancy Schiefer, a reviewer for Canada's London Free Press, wrote that Betcherman "succeeds in chronicling a colourful period in English history … [and] manages to bring it all to life, a tale from history with the emotional sway of a novel."
In Ernest Lapointe: MacKenzie King's Great Quebec Lieutenant, Betcherman delves into Canadian history of the early twentieth century, relating in particular how the career of lawyer-turned-member of parliament Ernest Lapointe was conjoined with that of William Lyon MacKenzie King, who became prime minister of Canada in the 1920s and remained largely in power until 1948. In order to relate how their careers were codependent, Betcherman relied on many primary sources, including the personal papers of both men, and boiled decades of politics down to thirty short chapters. Martin Lubin, writing in the American Review of Canadian Studies, called the book "highly readable and absorbing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Review of Canadian Studies, spring, 2004, Martin Lubin, review of Ernest Lapointe: MacKenzie King's Great Quebec Lieutenant, p. 151.
Booklist, September 1, 2005, Margaret Flanagan, review of Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England, p. 46.
London Free Press (London, Ontario, Canada), February 11, 2006, Nancy Schiefer, review of Court Lady and Country Wife.
Publishers Weekly, June 13, 2005, review of Court Lady and Country Wife, p. 39.
Toronto Star, January 21, 2006, Judy Stoffman, "Lita-Rose Betcherman: 77 and Can't Stop Writing," p. H8.