|Author||Mazo de la Roche|
|Series||Jalna (or Whiteoaks)|
|Publisher||Little, Brown and Company|
|Followed by||Whiteoaks of Jalna|
Jalna is a novel by the Canadian writer Mazo de la Roche.
It is the first of a 16-novel family saga about the Whiteoak family. First published in 1927, Jalna won the Atlantic Monthly Press's first $10,000 Atlantic Prize Novel award. De la Roche went on to write about the Whiteoak family for the next 30 years, establishing a place for herself in popular Canadian literature. The Jalna series has been translated into many languages and was adapted for stage, radio, and television. John Cromwell directed a 1935 film adaptation, Jalna. In 1972, it was filmed for television as The Whiteoaks of Jalna.
Jalna is a city in west-central India, used by de la Roche as the name of a manor house built by a retired officer of the British army who had served in that country. It bears resemblance to an actual house in the Clarkson neighborhood of Mississauga, Ontario, called Benares. The house was built in the late 1850s for a retired officer of the British army who had served in India, James B. Harris. In India, both Jalna and Benares (now called Varanasi) were the locations of British garrisons. Operated as a city museum, Benares Historic House once occupied a larger estate, part of which de la Roche called home for a time.
The series tells the story of one hundred years of the Whiteoak family covering from 1854 to 1954. The novels were not written in sequential order, however, and each can be read as an independent story.
There are similarities and as well as differences in the experiences of the Whiteoak family and de la Roche's. While the lives and successes of the Whiteoaks rise and fall, there remained for them the steadiness of the family manor, known as Jalna. De la Roche's family endured the illness of her mother, the perpetual job searches of her father, and the adoption of her orphaned cousin while being moved 17 times. Her family did work a farm for a few years for a wealthy man who owned the farm for a hobby. Several critics believe that Finch from Finch's Fortune (1932) is a reflection of de la Roche herself. The names of many of the characters were taken from gravestones in a Newmarket, Ontario cemetery.
The Jalna series has sold more than eleven million copies in 193 English and 92 foreign editions. In 1935, the film Jalna, based on the novel, was released by RKO Radio Pictures and, in 1972, a CBC television series was produced based on the series.
Jalna series (in narrative order)
- Building of Jalna, Little, Brown, 1944 ISBN 0-316-17996-5
- Morning at Jalna, Little, Brown, 1960 ISBN 0-333-03933-5
- Mary Wakefield, Little, Brown, 1949 ISBN 0-333-07652-4
- Young Renny, Little, Brown, 1935 ISBN 0-333-01371-9
- Whiteoak Heritage, Little, Brown, 1940 ISBN 0-333-05090-8
- Whiteoak Brothers, Little, Brown, 1953 ISBN 0-333-08809-3
- Jalna, Little, Brown, 1927 ISBN 0-316-18000-9
- Whiteoaks of Jalna, Little, Brown, 1929; published as Whiteoaks, Macmillan, 1929, ISBN 0-316-18014-9
- Finch's Fortune, Little, Brown, 1932 ISBN 0-333-09966-4
- The Master of Jalna, Little, Brown, 1933 ISBN 0-316-18002-5
- Whiteoak Harvest, Little, Brown, 1936 ISBN 0-333-07404-1
- Wakefield's Course, Little, Brown, 1941 ISBN 0-316-18010-6
- Return to Jalna, Little, Brown, 1946 ISBN 0-333-04842-3
- Renny's Daughter, Little, Brown, 1951 ISBN 0-333-08561-2
- Variable Winds at Jalna, Little, Brown, 1954 ISBN 0-333-02280-7
- Centenary at Jalna, Little, Brown, 1958 ISBN 0-316-17997-3
- Jalna, 1935, RKO Radio Pictures film
- The Whiteoaks of Jalna, 1972, Canadian television drama miniseries
- Benares Historic House, Mississauga, Ontario