“Now he seems more prescient,” English says, “and some of his reservations seem to have been accurate.” Trudeau tried to seal off politics from the realm of the personal.
The University of Waterloo history professor had exclusive access to Trudeau’s papers, and interviewed his family members and friends, some of whose privacy he protects by quoting them anonymously.
He shows Trudeau’s private and public sides intersecting poignantly when he is drawn closer to Margaret by their being together on the night Pierre Laporte, the Quebec labour minister, is murdered by his FLQ kidnappers.
More involved was his relationship with Carroll Guérin, whom he’d first dated in the late 1950s.
She’s described by English as “strikingly beautiful, Catholic, liberal, fluently trilingual, independently wealthy, and knowledgeable about the arts,” and, perhaps most importantly, “not in awe of Trudeau.” Remarkably, Trudeau consulted Guérin, to whom he had repeatedly proposed, about marrying Margaret.
At the Porteous home, everyone spoke French, which Margaret did not understand.
For a brief time in the winter of 1970 the two broke up.
There’s something dark, almost to the point of the occult, in the way Pierre Trudeau is often remembered.
Scan across the shelf of books about him: titles refer to his “shadow,” the notion he remains “hidden,” and one even calls him a “magus.” The most famous biographical quote about him claims “he haunts us still.” Perhaps it’s all this gloom that makes the story of his courtship and marriage such welcome leavening in the tale.
But he was consistently attracted to women who were impulsive.
He liked the excitement of dating outspoken celebrities like Barbra Streisand and Margot Kidder.
Margaret began dating a divinity student, and Trudeau and Streisand had their fling.