McKenty bookshelf

here you will find information on the books written by Neil and Catharine Fleming McKenty.

Mitch Hepburn

Neil McKenty

Mitchell Hepburn is one of the great enigmas of Canadian politics. For nearly a decade he dominated the political life of Ontario and, on occasion, the whole of Canada; yet he never fulfilled the bright promise of his early career. He was the prince of campaigners, who led the Liberals to their greatest victory in 1934 and became, at thirty-eight, the youngest Premier in Ontario’s history, but he was soon enmeshed in his own erratic actions and inconsistent policies.

Mitch Hepburn is the first, full-length profile of this extraordinary personality whose dynamic platform abilities left his audiences mesmerized and his enemies cold with fury. “You either hate his guts or you love the guy,” said one of Hepburn’s associates. Those who hated his guts considered Hepburn a ruthless, uncouth, back-concession politician with extravagant tastes in liquor and women, a fast-talking up-start who combined the worst defects of Huey Long and Walter Winchell. To his friends, especially the farmers and families of Elgin County where he was born, grew up, and ran his prosperous Bannockburn Farm, Mitchell Hepburn was a big, generous, uncomplicated man who made friends quickly and stuck with them loyally through thick and thin.

Neil McKenty describes the major issues of the Hepburn era-the campaign for more beer and lower hydro rates, the fight for better separate schools and broader legislation, the invasion of Ontario by the C.I.O. which culminated in the bitter Oshawa strike of 1937. From sources hitherto unpublished, McKenty traces the destructive feud between Hepburn and the federal Liberal leader, Mackenzie King, which led to the disintegration of the Liberal Party in Ontario and to Hepburn’s own political downfall. The final phases of Hepburn’s career are dealt with too-his sad deterioration, his unsuccessful attempts at a comeback, his final defeat in 1942, and his death in 1953.

The full story of Mitch Hepburn has never before been told. With a sense of style and high adventure, Neil McKenty turns the events in the life of Ontario’s eleventh Premier into a narrative so colourful and compelling that Mitch Hepburn is an impossible book to put down.

Published 1967.

Back 40
Read an excerpt and more information about this book. Click here.

In The Stillness Dancing: The Journey of John Main

Journalist, soldier, barrister and Benedictine monk, John Main’s spiritual odyssey was a deep seated quest for an authentic life of prayer. The door finally opened when he met an Indian swami who taught him to meditate using a mantra, only to close again when he entered the Benedictine noviciate and adopted a more traditional form of prayer.
Long after ordination in 1963, John Main discovered that the form of prayer advocated by the swami already existed within the mainstream of Western Christianity but had fallen into disuse. From then on, he was to devote his life to restoring this form of christian meditation to its rightful place within the Church. His work began with the foundation of a meditation centre at Ealing Abbey in London and led, some years later, to the foundation of the Benedictine Priory of Montreal and the establishment of a worldwide spiritual family linked through the daily practice of meditation.
Neil McKenty paints an attractive portrait of this compelling Irish monk whose teaching and writing on meditation were to transform the lives of thousands of men and women.

Soon to be available as an Ebook on Amazon.

The Inside Story

The Inside Story

A story of toxic religion, sex and celibacy, drinking and depression, and how they led towards self-discovery and spiritual awakening. For anyone on the journey to wholeness.

Click here.

Skiing Legends and The Laurentian Lodge Club

This book invites you to curl up beside the fire and joumey to a time when Montrealers skied down Peel Street and the Laurentians were “the wild west” of Quebec.

For two expatriate Torontonians, Neil and Catharine McKenty this journey begins at the Laurentian Lodge Club in Shawbridge. now Prevost.

There we meet skiing legends like “Jackrabbit” Johannsen. Harry Pangman and Barbara Kemp. With them we discover the perils of “Foster’s Folly”, the worlds first ski tow. we climb Mont Tremblant in the Thirties and we ride the ski trains with their smells of wax. orange peels and cigar smoke

And we also meet those earlier legends, the larger-than-life Cure Labelle, and the tragic Viscount d’Ivry who lived in a magnificent chateau on the shores of Lac-Manitou This is also the story of how the Laurentians helped Montrealers weather two World Wars and the Depression- Its a great story!

Published by Price-Patterson in 2000.

New addition by Light Messages Publishing available at paperback and ebook

click here.

Back 40
This is where we put interesting links and other articles related to the book. Click here.

The Other Key

It was January 4, 2003, when Inspector Julian Main was jolted from a deep sleep by his telephone ringing, like a warning. Groggily, he looked at his watch. 2:15. His mouth felt dry and rancid like sour wine. “Commander Durocher, here, Inspector. I’ve just been informed that Louise Branson, the wealthy socialite, has been murdered in her home at 76 Forden Road in Westmount. I want you to take charge of the case and I think you should get over there right away.”
For the next two months, Inspector Main, Homicide Division, Montreal Police, tracked the killer like a leopard stalking a gazelle. The hunt took him to London, where he had been attached to Scotland Yard, and to Dublin, where his sister had been sexually assaulted. In the end it brought him back to Montreal where he and his sidekick, the gum chewing Detective Roy Marchand, uncover the other key.

Neil’s detective novel.

Ebook on Amazon, click here

Polly of Bridgewater Farm

by Catharine Fleming McKenty

This is the story of an idylic irish childhood torn asunder by the famine of 1847, and the trials of emigration to a new life in Canada.

How in the world did Polly Noble, a bubbly little girl with freckles, born just outside Dromore in January 1837, live to become the subject of a biography published more than a century in Toronto?
It was on her father’s farm, on the old Coach Road between Dromore and Enniskillen, that Polly spent two years with her parents, George and Jane Noble. Then disaster struck. On January 6, 1839, the Big Wind rose out of the sea and swept across Ireland, wailing like a thousand banshees. It flattened whole villages, burned down farm houses, and finally killed her father. It changed Polly’s life forever.
Two years later, Polly’s mother, Jane, married William Fleming, the handsome widower across the road at Bridgewater Farm. Soon Polly began to walk back and forth the mile or so to the one-room school run in Dromore by the Kildare Society.
But she also found time to plant potatoes, milk the cows, look after the goats, pull flax, chase the hens and run bare-foot inthe meadows.
Then disaster struck again. The potato crop failed and the famine and typhus threatened Bridgewater Farm. Like thousands of others the Flemings decided they must escape.
They packed what they could, travelling by horse and cart to
Londonderry/Derry, and drinking in their last views of the green fields
and hills of Ireland. On May 14, 1847, along with 418 other passengers,
they boarded the three-masted sailing ship ‘Sesostris’.
Only 10 years old, Polly was on her way to a new life in Canada.
After an appalling voyage, during which some of the passengers,
including Polly’s darling little brother and sister died, they docked at
Grosse-Île, the quarantine station on the St. Lawrence River, about an
hour from Quebec. After three years in Montreal, where she met her future
husband, Polly was now ready for her next adventure in a vast unknown land
called Canada. Her destiny would be linked with a dozen children who had
lost their mothers, one of them a future mayor of Toronto.



New edition from

Canada: Cabbagetown Regent’s Park museum

Across the pond:

Northern Ireland – the book is available at the Ulster-American Folk Park and Carlisle Bookstore, both in Omagh.


ebook available here.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Over the years, Neil tried his hand at all types of writing – at age fifteen he became a stringer for the Peterboro Examiner under Robertson Davies. He went on to write 5 books which you’ll see <here> […]

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