Dent, John Charles
John Charles Dent, journalist, historian (b at Kendal, Eng 8 Nov 1841; d at Toronto 27 Sept 1888). After a newspaper career abroad and in Toronto he became a freelance writer. His most successful book was the illustrated 4-vol Canadian Portrait Gallery (1880-81); he wrote 185 of its 204 sketches. In The Last Forty Years: Canada since the Union of 1841 (2 vols, 1881) and the more partisan The Story of the Upper Canadian Rebellion (2 vols, 1885), he sided with moderate reformers. John King, W.L. MACKENZIE's son-in-law, attacked him in The Other Side of the "Story" (1886). Later, however, Dent thought that RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT had made Canadian politics corrupt. A convinced free trader and lifelong admirer of John Bright, he insisted on economy and probity in government. In addition to history, Dent also wrote fiction, much of which was published posthumously.