30 November 1874

L.M. Montgomery in her early forties, 1917
L.M. Montgomery in her early forties, 1917

Today, on what would have been L.M. Montgomery’s 141st birthday (she was born on 30 November 1874), I would like to share with you an extract from a journal entry dated exactly 101 years ago, on the occasion of Montgomery’s fortieth birthday:

Once I thought forty must be the end of everything. But it isn’t! I don’t feel any older today than yesterday—when I was only 39! Or the day before yesterday when I was—19! Thank God we don’t feel old. Life is much richer, fuller, happier, more comfortable for me now than it was when I was twenty. I have won the success I resolved to win twenty years ago. It is worth the struggle—but I would not wish to be twenty again with the struggle still before me.

Poster for L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, produced by Breakthrough Entertainment
Poster for L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, produced by Breakthrough Entertainment

Montgomery is trending on the Internet as I write this, due in large part to several Google Doodles paying tribute to Anne of Green Gables. And as Melanie J. Fishbane has pointed out in a blog post published earlier this afternoon, this is an exciting time for Montgomery and especially for Anne, thanks to the upcoming new telefilm version of Anne of Green Gables, a shout-out about the novel in a recent episode of The Simpsons, and numerous celebrity mentions. A list of “Five Fast Facts You Need to Know” about Montgomery was also published today, on the website Heavy, and mentions her rediscovered final book, The Blythes Are Quoted.

I’m glad, because all this media attention reflects the continued relevance and the persistent quality of Montgomery’s writing, not only as works of literature but also as the basis for an enduring popular culture icon and a set of new Anne texts for stage and screen. I’m looking forward to delving back into the novel Anne of Green Gables next term, when I  teach the book in an undergraduate children’s literature course at Wilfrid Laurier University, as an example of a crossover text that continues to appeal to both adults and children.

6 thoughts on “30 November 1874”

  1. I am a 63-year-old American man living in India who read Anne of Green Gables for the first time in May of this year. I fell in love with Anne and have been keeping myself busy since then reading all the other Anne novels, as well as The Story Girl, and The Golden Road. It makes me happy to read in this post that many others like myself are just discovering Anne for the first time, and that the writings of Lucy Maud Montgomery are continuing to bring so much joy to the world.

    1. So glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the Anne books, Robert! The Story Girl was actually Montgomery’s favourite book. Have you encountered her celebrated Emily books yet, by any chance? If not, I do recommend them.

      1. Dear Benjamin,
        Thank you for your response. No, I haven’t yet read the Emily books, but they are next on my list. I have not yet read Anne of Ingleside, nor The Blythes are Quoted. As soon as I finish those, I will start the Emily books.
        By the way, I wanted to say that I very much enjoyed reading your new edition of Rilla of Ingleside. The introduction and extensive notes in the glossary added a lot to my appreciation of the book.

        1. I’m so glad to hear that the extra material in my and Andrea McKenzie’s edition of Rilla of Ingleside were so useful to you, Robert. Hope you enjoy Anne of Ingleside and The Blythes Are Quoted!

Comments are closed.