At the Altar: Matrimonial Tales

Editor: Rea Wilmshurst
Paratexts: Introduction and afterword by Rea Wilmshurst
Country: Canada
Publisher: McClelland and Stewart (Toronto)
Date: 1994
Pagination: xvii + 228 pp.
Format: Jacketed hardcover
Trim: 6” x 9”
ISBN: 978-0771061721

At the Altar: Matrimonial Tales is the sixth of eight collections of L.M. Montgomery’s rediscovered short stories edited and introduced by Rea Wilmshurst. It contains eighteen short stories that were originally published in periodicals between 1899 and 1935, as well as an afterword, “Finding L.M. Montgomery’s Short Stories,” by Rea Wilmshurst. The book was preceded by Akin to Anne: Tales of Other Orphans (1988), Along the Shore: Tales by the Sea (1989), Among the Shadows: Tales from the Darker Side (1990), After Many Days: Tales of Time Passed (1991), and Against the Odds: Tales of Achievement, and followed by Across the Miles: Tales of Correspondence (1995), and Christmas with Anne and Other Holiday Stories (1995). It was published as a jacketed hardcover by McClelland and Stewart in April 1994, with a mass-market paperback appearing in May 1995.

From the Back Cover

In these stories Montgomery’s characters find that on the way to the altar hindrances arise in the form of stern parents, awkward circumstances, misunderstandings (and one very determined cat). But the obstacles to the course of true love are removed by a wonderful assortment of means: Montgomery brings maiden aunts to the rescue; two pairs of twins play major roles; a marauding pig is an unusual cupid; the lovers themselves come up with striking solutions.

Whether you live on a farm and marry the boy (or girl) next door, whether you are rich or poor, whether you move to exotic climes or simply across the village, whether you are young and trembling and romantic or old and staid and prosaic, in Montgomery’s hands your happiness as a bride (or groom) seems assured.

At the Altar: Matrimonial Tales is the sixth volume of L.M. Montgomery’s rediscovered stories to be published by McClelland and Stewart. Akin to Anne, Along the Shore, Among the Shadows, After Many Days, and Against the Odds preceded this collection.

Contents

Introduction / Rea Wilmshurst (vii–xvii)

Aunt Philippa and the Men (1–16)

A Dinner of Herbs (17–30)

Jessamine (31–39)

The Penningtons’ Girl (41–52)

The Gossip of Valley View (53–63)

The Pursuit of the Ideal (65–72)

By the Rule of Contrary (73–79)

Nan (81–90)

The Wooing of Bessy (91–103)

Miss Cordelia’s Accommodation (105–14)

The Twins and a Wedding (115–25)

Them Notorious Pigs (127–36)

The Dissipation of Miss Ponsonby (137–49)

An Unconventional Confidence (151–60)

The Way of the Winning of Anne (161–72)

The Touch of Fate (173–85)

What Aunt Marcella Would Have Called It (187–96)

When Jack and Jill Took a Hand (197–214)

Afterword: Finding L.M. Montgomery’s Short Stories / Rea Wilmshurst (215–21)

Editorial Note (223–24)

Acknowledgements (225)

Other Books by L.M. Montgomery (227–28)

Reviews

Reviews by Sylvia Bryce, Elizabeth R. Epperly, Darleen R. Golke, Janice Kennedy, Elizabeth St Jacques, Susie Strachan, and Wendy Thatcher.