After Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery’s Letters to Ephraim Weber, 1916–1941

After Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery's Letters to Ephraim Weber, 1916–1941Editors: Hildi Froese Tiessen and Paul Gerard Tiessen
Country: Canada
Publisher: University of Toronto Press (Toronto)
Date: 2006
Pagination: xviii + 288 pp.
Format: Trade paperback, unjacketed hardcover
Trim: 6” x 9”
ISBN: 0-8020-8459-1 (trade paperback), 0-8020-8459-1 (unjacketed hardcover)

After Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery’s Letters to Ephraim Weber, 1916–1941 is a collection of letters edited and introduced by Hildi Froese Tiessen and Paul Gerard Tiessen. Containing twenty-four letters by L.M. Montgomery and addressed to her Canadian correspondent Ephraim Weber between 1916 and 1941, it is a follow-up to The Green Gables Letters from L.M. Montgomery to Ephraim Weber, 1905–1909 (1960), edited by Wilfrid Eggleston. It was published simultaneously as an unjacketed hardcover and a trade paperback by University of Toronto Press in June 2006.

From Inside the Book

Ephraim Weber (1870–1956) was a struggling young writer when he began corresponding with L.M. Montgomery (1874–1942) in 1902, six years before she published her first novel. Weber’s initial letter was that of an admirer. Montgomery responded warmly, and the two quickly began a correspondence that became an intellectual mainstay for both of them over the following forty years. After Green Gables is a collection of letters sent by Montgomery to Weber between 1916 and 1941. This was the period of Montgomery’s greatest literary success, but privately she was deeply troubled by her unhappy marriage.

The letters reveal an intense dynamic between Montgomery and Weber, and cover, among other subjects, their strong differences of opinion on matters such as pacifism and war and their joint rejection of the effects of literary modernism. Drawing on Weber’s voluminous correspondence with other Canadian figures—particularly journalist Wilfrid Eggleston—editors Hildi Froese Tiessen and Paul Gerard Tiessen skilfully illuminate Weber’s interaction with Montgomery, especially in matters concerning literature and culture, religion and politics, and education and entertainment. The editors provide various readings of Weber, based on his aspirations as a writer, his active participation in the Canadian culture of his day (including his friendships with hometown schoolmate William Lyon Mackenzie King and community leader Leslie Staebler), and his heritage as a Mennonite.

Montgomery’s letters to a man committed to writing and to his country’s cultural development reveal her intellectual preoccupations and her personal hardships.

Contents

Acknowledgments (ix–xii)

Permissions (xiii)

Abbreviations (xiv–xv)

Photographs (xvi–xviii)

Introduction (3–52)

A Note on the Text (53–55)

The Letters (57–263)

Works Cited (265–68)

Index (269–88)

Reception

After Green Gables is an outstanding contribution to the field of Montgomery studies. Hildi Froese Tiessen and Paul Gerard Tiessen have undertaken the painstaking task of deciphering, transcribing, and annotating L.M. Montgomery’s letters to Ephraim Weber, which shed light onto an intriguing range of topics of interest to both. This book is exciting, timely, and important.” —Irene Gammel, Canada Research Chair in Modern Literature and Culture, Ryerson University

“A very readable and informative book featuring two strong and independent voices, After Green Gables provides a unique set of letters that reveal much about both L.M. Montgomery and Ephraim Weber. This collection illustrates the complex and deliberate ways Montgomery constructed herself for Weber over the years, and the equally complex way Weber situated himself in relation to her as she evolved into an internationally acclaimed writer.” —Elizabeth Rollins Epperly, Department of English at the University of Prince Edward Island, founding chair of the L.M. Montgomery Institute

Reviews

Reviews by Irene Gammel, Virginia Gillham, Benjamin Lefebvre, Maureen Moran, and E. Holly Pike.