The Makers of Canada, a series of books designed to present a history of Canada through a study of its major figures. The original series contained 20 volumes which appeared between 1903 and 1908; an index volume was added in 1911 and a 21st volume in 1916. The publisher was George M. Morang of Toronto, and the editors were poet Duncan Campbell Scott and Professor O. Pelham Edgar of Victoria College; a third advisory editor, William Dawson LeSueur, was added later. The series sold extremely well and Morang brought out 2 less expensive 11-volume editions in 1910. Scott's John Graves Simcoe, with its excellent prose, and Adam Shortt's Lord Sydenham and Jean Newton McIlwraith's Sir Frederick Haldimand, with their thorough research, received high praise. Overall, though, the series was deemed deficient because of its overtly whiggish orientation, particularly in the selection of its subjects. This partisan charge is best exemplified in the case of LeSueur's biography of William Lyon Mackenzie; Mackenzie's relatives, in particular his grandson, William Lyon Mackenzie King, complained that the biographer was too critical. Between 1908 and 1913, 5 controversial court cases ensued over LeSueur's manuscript; Morang refused to publish it and LeSueur was prohibited from publishing it elsewhere. It did not appear until 1979, as part of the Carleton Library Series.
In 1926, the Oxford University Press brought out a 12-volume edition of The Makers of Canada, with historian W.L. Grant as editor; several volumes were discarded, some recommissioned, and the remainder thoughtfully revised and brought up to date. A notable addition, originally published in 1903 by Morang, and subsequently hailed as a distinguished example of political biography, was Sir John Willison's Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Liberal Party: A Political History. The U of T Press, which now owns the rights to the series, has reissued several volumes.