12 December 2011

Jalna's Dirty Little Secret Exposed! (Part I)

The Secret of Jalna
Ronald Hambleton
Toronto: PaperJacks, 1972
175 pages

This review now appears, revised and rewritten, in my new book:
The Dusty Bookcase:
A Journey Through Canada's
Forgotten, Neglected, and Suppressed Writing
Available at the very best bookstores and through

Related posts:


  1. First time I ever heard of it. What is the book about?

  2. Ah, I went back and forth on whether I should divide this post in two. The answer is in tomorrow's post. It's not terribly interesting, I'm afraid, though "the secret" - or what I view as "the secret" - is shocking and shameful. Sorry to tease.

    (Should add that I don't think Hambleton thought of the same as "the secret". I think the title was just a way to sell the book.)

  3. The cover looks like a Don Harron spoof.

  4. I was thinking it's either Uncle Willie or Floyd, but can't figure out which.

  5. Hi, I loved this wonderful series and especially Paul Harding as Renny. I had read the entire series of Jalna books (16 in total, I believe) and had no problems with flashbacks etc. the other viewers complained about. Kate Reid, Amelia Hall and Gillie Fenwick as Uncle Ernest were wonderful and I would dearly see CBC release the series in dvd. I saw the Star's tributes to Amelia Hall and Kate Reid on their passings but am trying to find out whether Paul Harding is still appearing on stage/film or any further information. I would be very grateful to anyone who is/was his agent/friend as my mother met him at Pearson International many years ago and he was a wonderfully gracious man. cathy_garside@yahoo.com

  6. An excellent documentary now exists about Mazo de la Roche called The Mystery of Mazo de la Roche. It premiered at the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival in May 2012. The DVD is available through The National Film Board of Canada.

  7. You can also find out more about the documentary here:

  8. i was at the premiere at the st. lawrence centrew....star kate reid was drinkjing heavily at the bar while co-star amelia hall whispered the dreaded word ''debacle''....ironically the french remake in 1994 with danielle darriwux was so much better

  9. Are there no copies of the series in existence? Have the tapes been wiped and the film lost? It would be interesting to see the series.

    1. I'm certain that the series has survived, Anon. I'd love to see it myself, if only to rekindle childhood memories. A shame the CBC hasn't released it on DVD. They'd have a sale in me.