A. J. B. Johnston

Andrew John Bayly Johnston is a Canadian historian, novelist and museum writer. He is the author of five novels of historical fiction as well as fifteen books (and over 100 articles) on the History of Atlantic Canada.[2] Johnston is originally from Truro, Nova Scotia and currently lives in Halifax.[3]

A. J. B. Johnston
BornAndrew John Bayly Johnston
Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada[1]
Alma materDalhousie University, Université Laval[1]
GenreHistory, Historical fiction
SubjectAtlantic Canada[1]
SpouseMary Topshee[1]


Johnston's Endgame 1758 won a Clio award[4] from the Canadian Historical Association and was short-listed for a Dartmouth Book Award.[2] His work is closely associated with the history of the Fortress of Louisbourg.[5] In recognition of his body of work on that national historic site of Canada, the Government of France made Johnston a chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes académiques.[6]

Johnston had a long career as a historian with Parks Canada.[7]

The historical account Ni'n na L'nu: The Mi'kmaq of Prince Edward Island, co-authored with Jesse Francis, won the "best Atlantic-published" book, the PEI Book Award for non-fiction and a PEI Heritage Award.[8] He has also developed the story-lines and written the scripts for many exhibits in Atlantic Canada.[9] Some of those exhibits have been at (or currently still are at) the Nova Scotia Museum, the Colchester Historeum, Musée des Acadiens des Pubnicos, Yarmouth County Museum, the Black Cultural Centre, and the travelling exhibit entitled N'in na L'nu: The Mi'kmaq of Prince Edward Island.[10] Since 2009 he has published three novels —Thomas, A Secret Life (2012), The Maze (2014) and Crossings (2015)[11] — inspired by the historical figure of Thomas Pichon (1700–1781). Atlantic Books Today described Johnston as "a natural to write this story."[12] The review of Thomas in The Antigonish Review stated: "This is a fine novel, one that strikes just the right balance between fact and fiction."[13] As for The Maze, Paul W. Bennett writes: "Taking on historical fiction and imaginatively recreating the inner life of one of Canada's most controversial early historical figures would be beyond the reach of most scholars. A. J. B. Johnston ... is more than equal to that challenge."[14] The reviewer in the Nashwaak Review wrote: "Pichon is as real and developed a character as you will find anywhere … both believable and impressive." [15] In 2018, Johnston published The Hat, a YA novel about the Expulsion of the Acadians from Grand-Pré in 1755, and Something True, a coming-of-age biographical fiction about Katharine McLennan (1892-1975).[16] He announced on his web site in September 2018 that he was writing a book on The Lincolns, a 1960s rock 'n roll band that was based in Truro, Nova Scotia (not the one based in Ontario).[17] One member of that band was renowned playwright, novelist and composer John MacLachlan Gray.

Johnston's research archives are deposited at the Beaton Institute of the Cape Breton University.[18]

In February and March 2017, Johnston was Writer-in-Residence at Wolff Cottage (the Center for the Writing Arts) in Fairhope, Alabama.[19]

In July 2018, A. J. B. Johnston was named as one of the members of a special task force that is to make recommendations to the Halifax Regional Municipality regarding the commemoration of British colonial governor of Nova Scotia, Edward Cornwallis, and of the commemoration of Indigenous history within the municipality.[20]

Authored and co-authored booksEdit


  • Johnston, A.J.B. (2018). Something True. ISBN 978-1-9802412-2-5.
  • Johnston, A.J.B. (2018). The Hat. ISBN 978-1-9802319-4-3. EPUB 978-1-7752289-0-5
  • Johnston, A.J.B. (2015). Crossings, A Thomas Pichon Novel. Sydney: Cape Breton University Press. ISBN 978-1-77206-020-1. EPUB 978-1-77206-022-5, Kindle 978-1-77206-023-2, Web pdf 978-1-77206-021-8
  • Johnston, A.J.B. (2014). The Maze, A Thomas Pichon Novel. Sydney: Cape Breton University Press. ISBN 978-1-897009-76-5. EPUB 978-1-927492-71-0, MOBI 978-1-927492-72-7
  • Johnston, A.J.B. (2012). Thomas, A Secret Life. Sydney: Cape Breton University Press. ISBN 978-1-897009-74-1. EPUB 978-1-897009-89-5, MOBI 978-1-897009-90-1


Current English editions and re-printsEdit

Previous English editionsEdit

Non-English editions and translationsEdit

  • Johnston, A.J.B.; Francis, Jesse (2014). Ni'n na L'nu : Les Mi'kmaq de l'île-de-Prince-Édouard. Tracadie-Sheila: La Grande Marée. ISBN 978-2-349-72315-4.
  • Johnston, A.J.B.; Buttiens, Michel (tr) (2011). 1758 : La finale. Promesses, splendeur et déolation de la dernière décennie de Louisbourg. Québec: Les Presses de l'Université Laval. ISBN 978-2-7637-9060-2. ISBN 9782763710600
  • Johnston, A.J.B.; Kerr, W.P.; Filion, Sylvain (tr) (2004). Grand-Pré, Coeur de l'Acadie. Halifax: Nimbus Publishing. ISBN 978-1-551094-91-5.
  • Johnston, A.J.B. (1988). La religion dans la vie à Louisbourg (1713–1758). Ottawa: Environnement Canada. ISBN 0-660-92278-9.
  • Johnston, A.J.B.; Reardon, Chris (photography); Pichette, Robert (tr.) (1997). Louisbourg, Reflets d'une époque. Halifax: Nimbus Publishing. ISBN 1-55109-210-7. Paperback Edition
  • Johnston, A.J.B.; Reardon, Chris (photography); Pichette, Robert (tr.) (1997). Louisbourg, Reflets d'une époque. Halifax: Nimbus Publishing. ISBN 1-55109-206-9. Hardcover Edition
  • Johnston, A.J.B. (2002) [1983]. L'été de 1744: La vie quotidienne à Louisbourg au XVIIIe siècle. Ottawa: Parcs Canada. ISBN 0-660-96662-X.
  • Johnston, A.J.B. (1981). La défense d'Halifax : Artillerie, 1825–1906. Ottawa: Parcs Canada. ISBN 9780660906645.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Bio". A.J.B. Johnston | Novelist, Historian & Interpretive Writer | Thomas: A Secret Life. Archived from the original on 10 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b Canadian Who's Who. University of Toronto Press. 2011. pp. 614. ISBN 9780921173274.
  3. ^ "A J B Johnston". Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  4. ^ "The Clio Prizes". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  5. ^ "CBC-TV at the Table". Retrieved 11 January 2013.[dead link]
  6. ^ McNeil, Greg (19 November 2011). "Louisbourg historian to be knighted by French government". Cape Breton Post.
  7. ^ "A J B Johnston". Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  8. ^ "none". Halifax Chronicle Herald. 24 May 2014.
  9. ^ "A J B Johnston". Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  10. ^ "A J B Johnston". Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  11. ^ "The Maze". Retrieved 5 April 2014.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Norris, Laurie Glenn (Fall 2012). Atlantic Books Today (70): 33–34.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  13. ^ Sawler, Trevor (2013). The Antigonish Review. 173 (Spring): 89.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  14. ^ Bennett, Paul W. (14 June 2014). "The roots of a notorious spy". The Chronicle Herald: G4.
  15. ^ Sawyer, Trevor (2015). Nashwaak Review. 32-33.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  16. ^ "A J B Johnston". Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  17. ^ "A J B Johnston". Writers Federation. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  18. ^ "A J B Johnston". Writers Federation. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  19. ^ "A J B Johnston". Writers Federation. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  20. ^ http://kukukwes.com/2018/07/27/hrm-announces-members-to-serve-on-cornwallis-special-advisory-committee/
  • Cape Breton Post, 20 March 2012

External linksEdit