Baltimore’s Mansion

A Memoir

Publisher: Vintage Canada
Baltimore's Mansion introduces us to the Johnstons of Ferryland, a Catholic colony founded by Lord Baltimore in the 1620s on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, and centres on three generations of fathers and sons. Filled with heart-stopping description and a cast of stubborn, acerbic, yet utterly irresistible family members, it is an evocation of a time and a place reminiscent of Wayne Johnston's best fiction.


I am foreborn of spud runts who fled the famines of Ireland in the 1830s, not a man or woman among them more than five foot two, leaving behind a life of beggarment and setting sail for what since Malory were called the Happy Isles to take up unadvertised positions as servants in the underclass of Newfoundland.

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"Incredibly moving, deeply personal and often hilarious."
The Toronto Star

"A prodigiously talented author — Baltimore's Mansion ought to win a wide readership, especially among those of us grasping after the meaning of our own fathers' lives."
The Globe and Mail

"Much more than a memoir — Johnston has used all the fictive techniques he has mastered as a mature literary artist to shape the materials of real life into a work of astonishing beauty and power."
National Post