Montgomery Ads 7: Rilla of Ingleside

I know it looks like I’ve been a bit neglectful this week of my promise to post every single day a review of or an ad for one of Montgomery’s books (the focus of Volume 3 of The L.M. Montgomery Reader, available late this December). In truth, I’ve become really busy with the end-of-year crunch, but there’s also a method to my madness, since what I planned to show next was an overall marketing strategy for L.M. Montgomery. In the second half of December 1921, Montgomery’s Canadian publisher, McClelland and Stewart, placed—in the Toronto Globe and the Toronto Daily Star—several different ads for Rilla of Ingleside, always prominently at the top of a page, as a way to promote it as a choice title for the holiday season. What’s especially noteworthy is that while Rilla is now celebrated as one of the only near-contemporaneous Canadian novels about women at the homefront during the First World War, the war is barely mentioned in this campaign.

Each image zooms in when you click on it, and you can also go through all of them as a slide show.

First, the Toronto Daily Star published this ad, complete with reviewers’ quotes, on 12 December:

Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, 12 December 1921.

Second, in the Globe, on 15 December:

The Most Charming Gift Book for Christmas / Rilla of Ingleside / A Captivating, Sunny Story / By the Author of "Anne of Green Gables" / A Gift Which Will Appeal Equally to Mother, Wife or Daughter. / Published by McClelland and Stewart, Limited. / You can get "RILLA OF INGLESIDE" at any Bookstore.
Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, by L.M. Montgomery. The Globe (Toronto, ON), 15 December 1921.

An almost identical ad appeared the next day, on 16 December, in the Toronto Daily Star:

Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, Toronto Daily Star, 16 December 1921.
Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, Toronto Daily Star, 16 December 1921.

Third, in the Globe, on 16 December:

Books MAke the Best Gifts—Here Are the Best New Books [Rilla of Ingleside is listed fourth under "Canadian Fiction"] / These are McClelland & Stewart Publications—Ask Your Bookseller For Them
Ad for McClelland and Stewart, /The Globe/ (Toronto, ON), 16 December 1921, 10.
Fourth, in the Globe, on 17 December:

The Gift Book for Mother, Wife or Daughter / Rilla of Ingleside / By L.M. Montgomery / Author of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES / A Captivating, Sunny Story of Rilla, Daughter of Anne. / Ask Your Bookseller for RILLA OF INGLESIDE
Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, The Globe (Toronto, ON), 17 December 1921, 16.

This one, too, appeared in the Toronto Daily Star, three days later:

Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, The Toronto Daily Star, 20 December 1921.
Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, The Toronto Daily Star, 20 December 1921.

Fifth, in the Toronto Daily Star, on 19 December, advertising Rilla of Ingleside alongside Marian Keith’s novel Little Miss Melody (Montgomery and Keith would eventually collaborate, along with Mabel Burns McKinley, on the volume of essays Courageous Women, published in 1934):

Ad for Rilla of Ingleside and Little Miss Melody, by Marian Keith, The Toronto Daily Star, 19 December 1921.
Ad for Rilla of Ingleside and Little Miss Melody, by Marian Keith, The Toronto Daily Star, 19 December 1921.

Sixth, the Globe, on 20 December:

The Book That Every Woman or Girl Wants to Read / Rilla of Ingleside / By L.M. Montgomery / The Author of "ANNE OF GREEN GABLES" / It is a human story, bright, readable, wholesome and entertaining. Everybody loves Rilla, the impetuous, fun-loving daughter of Anne. / Ask Your Bookseller for "RILLA OF INGLESIDE"
Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, The Globe (Toronto, ON), 20 December 1921.

Seventh, a similar ad in the Toronto Daily Star, on 21 December:

Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, The Toronto Daily Star, 21 December 1921.
Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, The Toronto Daily Star, 21 December 1921.

Eighth, in the Globe, on 21 December:

No Book Will Please Her Better Than a Copy of RILLA OF INGLESIDE / By L.M. Montgomery / Author of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES / A gift that will delight the heart of every woman. The book to choose for Mother, Wife or Daughter. / Ask Your Bookseller for RILLA OF INGLESIDE
Ad for Rilla of Ingleside, The Globe (Toronto, ON), 21 December 1921, 13.

Stay tuned next week, when I start posting extracts from reviews that were less than enthusiastic about Montgomery’s writing—starting with the earliest known review of Anne of Green Gables.

2 thoughts on “Montgomery Ads 7: Rilla of Ingleside

  1. Benjamin – have you ever read any of her ‘competition’? ‘Little Miss Melody’, pictured beside Rilla in that ad for example. Were they comparable in any way? Just curious. 🙂

    1. I haven’t read as many of them as I probably should, mainly because most of the other top-selling novels of the era are long out of print. Marian Keith is a fascinating case study, since she and Montgomery had a lot in common: both were minister’s wives and both wrote novels that appealed to a lot of readers, including a mixture of adults and young people. Yet Montgomery’s books are still read today and very few people now know who Marian Keith even was. There are lots of concrete reasons why that happens—stage and screen adaptations and tourist sites, for instance, which renew and expand the audiences for the books—but sometimes it’s simply a matter of chance. Montgomery’s books have become “classics” not because they were enshrined in the university canons of Canadian literature but simply because people have continued to read them.

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