Baltimore's Mansion: A Memoir

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 1999 - Families - 272 pages
0 Reviews
This intimate story of family and place - the perfect book to follow the success of The Colony of Unrequited Dreams - will join The Danger Tree and Angela's Ashes on the shelf reserved for most valued memoirs.
Baltimore's Mansion - a story of the vivid, moving, hilarious machinations of three generations of fathers and sons - will speak to readers everywhere about the hardships, blessings and power of family relationships. Charlie Johnston is the famed blacksmith of Ferryland, a Catholic colony founded by Lord Baltimore in the 1620s on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. But he must spend the first cold hours of every working day fishing at sea with his sons, one of whom, Wayne's father Arthur, vows that as an adult he will never look to the sea for his livelihood. In the heady months leading to the referendum that results in Newfoundland being " inducted" into Canada, Art leaves the island, parting on mysterious terms with Charlie who dies while he's away, and is plunged into a lifelong battle with the personal demons that haunted the end of their relationship. Years later, Wayne prepares to leave at the same age his father was when he said good-bye, and old patterns threaten to repeat themselves.
In this year that commemorates the 50th anniversary of Newfoundland as a province, there will be no book that captures, for all time, both the seductive spirit of the Rock and the universal spirit of family (no matter how delightfully eccentric) like Baltimore's Mansion.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A beguiling combination of family history and autobiography, this first nonfiction work from Ontario novelist Johnston (The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, 1999) forms a revealing appendage to his own ... Read full review

Baltimore's mansion: a memoir

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Unfortunately, Johnston's memoir--covering Newfoundland's unforgiving terrain, awful weather, and the generations of his Newfoundland family who fought against union with Canada--follows hard upon The ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

25 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Wayne Johnston was born in Goulds, Newfoundland in 1958. He graduated with a B.A. in English from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1978. He worked from 1978-1981 as a newspaper reporter with the St. John's Daily News. In 1981, he decided to write fiction full-time. In 1983, he graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from the University of New Brunswick. His first book, The Story of Bobby O'Malley, won the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award in 1985. His other works include The Divine Ryans, which won the 1991 Thomas Head Raddall Award and was adapted into a movie, Baltimore's Mansion, which won the Charles Taylor Prize, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, The Navigator of New York, and The Custodian of Paradise.

Bibliographic information