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Flame and Ashes: The Great Fire Diary of Triffie Winsor is the thirty-fifth book in Dear Canada, a historical fiction series by Scholastic Canada. The book was written by Janet McNaughton; her only entry for the series. It was published in September 2014 and was followed by the anthology A Time for Giving.


"In memory of Paul O'Neill (1928–2013) actor, broadcaster, historian of St. John's, kindly employer, bon vivant."

Book description[]

"Sunday, July 10th, 1892
I did not think I would sleep as the fire came closer and closer, consuming all in its path, but I must have dozed off finally because suddenly it was sunrise, and Papa had found us! I flew into his arms, all cares forgotten. His clothes smelled of smoke. He hugged me very close while Sarah and Alfie rushed to join me. Papa held us as if we were all he had in the world. As I soon discovered, that was close to the truth.
Everything is gone. Papa's premises–the shop, the workshops, the wharves–all of it, burnt to ash. Our house, Papa says, is no more than a smoking pit in the ground, all our fine and beautiful things consumed.



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Flame and Ashes characters


Main article: Janet McNaughton




"Many people helped with this book, and I would like to thank them. Joan Ritcey, head of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, and Linda White from the CNS Archives, both patiently dealt with my questions, even the ones that had no immediate answer. The CNS also borrowed the only existing hard copies of The Morning Dispatch, and had them scanned and posted in the Memorial University Library's digital archive collection, making my work much, much easier than it would have been otherwise.
Helen Miller and her staff at the St. John's City Archives gave me hours of their time, helping to locate and name houses and buildings that disappeared in the fire of 1892. Dr. Philip Hiscock of the Folklore Department at Memorial University was always available to discuss the fine points of Newfoundland English, and actor and children's author Andy Jones helped me nail down the elusive code of misery.
Two dear writing friends got this book off to a proper start. Barbara Haworth-Attard was brave enough to tell me that Triffie, in her earliest version, was not a likable character. Karleen Bradford later confirmed that Barb's advice had set me on the right path. My agent, ginger Clark, then picked the ball and ran with it to Scholastic, a publisher that has far exceeded my expectations. I want to thank fact checker Barbara Hehner and Dr. Melvin Baker of Memorial University's History Department for asking all the right questions and saving me from embarrassing mistakes. Finally, Sandy Bogart Johnston has been an insightful editor who was extremely easy to work wit, and Diane Kerner's input was always valuable. I felt I was in good hands while working on this book.


  • The portrait on the cover is a detail from Cecilia Beaux's 1887 painting A Little Girl. The background is a photograph titled Downtown St. John's after the fire taken by S.H. Parsons.[6][7][8]


See also[]

Dear Canada

Orphan at My Door | A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | With Nothing But Our Courage | Footsteps in the Snow
A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Whispers of War | Alone in an Untamed Land | Brothers Far from Home | An Ocean Apart
A Trail of Broken Dreams | Banished from Our Home | Winter of Peril | Turned Away | The Death of My Country
No Safe Harbour | A Rebel's Daughter | A Season for Miracles | If I Die Before I Wake | Not a Nickel to Spare
Prisoners in the Promised Land | Days of Toil and Tears | Where the River Takes Me | Blood Upon Our Land
A Desperate Road to Freedom | A Christmas to Remember | Exiles from the War | To Stand On My Own
Hoping for Home | That Fatal Night | Torn Apart | A Sea of Sorrows | Pieces of the Past | A Country of Our Own
All Fall Down | Flame and Ashes | A Time for Giving | These Are My Words

External links[]