Bill died May 14, 2021, of cancer in Toronto.
Born in 1944 in British Columbia, Bill earned a bachelor’s degree in 1965 from the University of British Columbia and a Ph.D. in history from Princeton in 1972.
Bill had a lengthy career at York University from 1971 until his retirement in 2011. He taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels with a focus on modern French history. He also taught Italian history and directed a modern world history course.
Bill’s research focused on French conservatism and the French Right. A historian of politics in the Third Republic, his publications include French Conservatism in Crisis: The Republican Federation of France in the 1930s; The Boulanger Affair Reconsidered: Royalism, Boulangism, and the Origins of the Radical Right in France, and Between Justice and Politics: The Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, 1898-1945. His articles and book chapters covered such topics as women’s suffrage, the Croix de Feu, and domestic politics and France’s “strange defeat” in 1940.
He co-founded a French history seminar series co-hosted by the University of Toronto and York University.
A fitness enthusiast, world traveler, and accomplished chef, Bill is survived by his wife, Marion; sons Carl and Benjamin; and two grandchildren.