Benjamin Lefebvre

Announcement: A New, Restored Edition of Rilla of Ingleside

Rilla of Ingleside (Viking Canada, 2010)I’m pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of a new, restored edition of L.M. Montgomery’s First World War novel, Rilla of Ingleside, edited by Benjamin Lefebvre and Andrea McKenzie, which will be published on 26 October 2010 by Viking Canada.

First published in 1921, Rilla of Ingleside—originally written as the final sequel to Anne of Green Gables—is one of the only contemporary depictions in Canadian fiction of women on the home front during the First World War. Focusing on Rilla Blythe, the pretty and high-spirited youngest daughter of Anne Shirley, the novel paints a vivid and compelling picture of the women who battled to keep the home fires burning throughout those tumultuous years. Using her own wartime experience and imagination, Montgomery recreates the laughter and grief, poignancy and suspense, struggles and courage of Canadian women at war.

This special gift edition includes Montgomery’s complete, restored, and unabridged original text as well as a thoughtful introduction from the editors, a detailed glossary, maps of Europe during the war, and war poems by L.M. Montgomery and her contemporary Virna Sheard.

The publication of this edition of Rilla of Ingleside will coincide with the release in paperback of The Blythes Are Quoted by Penguin Canada.

Anne’s World Now Available!

Anne's World: A New Century of Anne of Green GablesAnne’s World: A New Century of Anne of Green Gables, a new collection of essays edited by Irene Gammel and Benjamin Lefebvre and published by University of Toronto Press, is now available in paperback! The hardcover edition will be published later this summer.

The recent 100-year anniversary of the first publication of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables has inspired renewed interest in one of Canada’s most beloved fictional icons. The international appeal of the red-haired orphan has not diminished over the past century, and the cultural meaning of her story continues to grow and change. The original essays in Anne’s World offer fresh and timely approaches to issues of culture, identity, health, and globalization as they apply to Montgomery’s famous character and to today’s readers.

Elizabeth Glenn at the University of Toronto Press website recently blogged on “Anne of the World,” mentioning both Anne’s World and the LMMI conference L.M. Montgomery and the Matter of Nature.

Press Release: Lefebvre Renewed as UPEI’s L.M. Montgomery Institute Visiting Scholar

The following press release appeared on 24 June 2010:

Dr. Benjamin Lefebvre, of Waterloo, Ontario and one of the world’s leading experts on Lucy Maud Montgomery, was reappointed as Visiting Scholar for the institute bearing the famed PEI writer’s name, the L.M. Montgomery Institute (LMMI).

Mark Leggott, Institute chair and University Librarian, announced the year-long appointment during his welcoming remarks at the 2010 L.M. Montgomery Conference taking place at UPEI, June 24–27.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Lefebvre return as our Visiting Scholar and accept this further term. His past year’s work with LMMI’s governing committee in facilitating and expanding scholarship about L.M. Montgomery and her contemporaries has been excellent. We look forward to seeing what exciting initiatives the next year will bring.”

Lefebvre will continue working with the Institute on projects that will benefit Montgomery’s international community of readers, including coediting a collection of essays with UPEI’s Dr. Jean Mitchell, a past Visiting Scholar. The collection will be based on papers presented at the 2010 conference, titled ‘L.M. Montgomery and the Matter of Nature,’ which begins today.

“I am thrilled to be invited to return, as it gives me further opportunities to support the mandate of the LMMI and to be energized by the dedication of its committee members,” Lefebvre says.

He adds, “It is extremely rewarding to witness first-hand the community of Montgomery scholars and readers that have built up over time. I am so pleased with the high quality of work and the range of topics pursued at this conference by participants from all over the world.”

The conference features speakers and panellists from the United States, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Japan, China, Australia, Taiwan, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and South Africa and explores Montgomery’s writing and thoughts on nature through a number of presentations and papers.

The biannual event also provides a captive audience for the release of another one of Lefebvre’s projects, Anne’s World: A New Century of Anne of Green Gables. Edited by Lefebvre and Dr. Irene Gammel, this collection of original essays offers “fresh and timely approaches to issues of culture, identity, health, and globalization as they apply to Montgomery’s famous character, and to today’s readers.” Anne’s World was published by University of Toronto Press this month, June 2010.

Lefebvre has previously published internationally on Montgomery’s fiction and life-writing, and on film, television, and tourism adaptations of her work. His edition of Montgomery’s rediscovered final book, The Blythes Are Quoted, was published by Viking Canada in October 2009.

Lefebvre’s term as Visiting Scholar runs from July 2010 to June 2011. For more information on LMMI and the 2010 L.M. Montgomery Conference, visit www.lmmontgomery.ca.

Interview on CBC Radio’s Ontario Today

I will be interviewed on Ontario Today on Monday, 14 December 2009, sometime between 12:00 and 12:30, on CBC Radio One:

L.M. Montgomery’s last manuscript, The Blythes Are Quoted, has just been published for the first time in its entirety. The manuscript was submitted to Montgomery’s publisher the day she died. It’s the ninth volume in the Anne series. The editor who re-discovered the typescript will be our guest on Ontario Today. And of course Ed Lawrence will join us as well.

Reviews of New LMM Books in The Globe and Mail

Two reviews appear in today’s Globe and Mail: Aritha van Herk’s “Blythe Spirits,” a review of The Blythes Are Quoted, and Irene Gammel’s “The Daughters of Lucy Maud,” a review of Jane Urquhart’s L.M. Montgomery.

The Blythes Are Quoted Now Available

The Blythes Are Quoted (Viking Canada, 2009)I’m pleased to announce that my edition of L.M. Montgomery’s rediscovered last book, The Blythes Are Quoted, is now available from Viking Canada.

UPDATED 24 OCTOBER: For more on this book, see the following links:

“Waterloo-based academic finds L.M. Montgomery’s last ‘darker’ work” (Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 24 October 2009)

A different Anne and Gilbert” (The Globe and Mail, 23 October 2009)

“Green Gables tale darkens in final book” (CBC News, 23 October 2009)

Announcement: The Blythes Are Quoted

I’m pleased to announce that my edition of L.M. Montgomery’s rediscovered final novel, The Blythes Are Quoted, will be published by Penguin Canada in 2009:

The Blythes Are Quoted

By L.M. Montgomery
Edited by Benjamin Lefebvre
With a foreword by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly

The never-before-published complete and unabridged last work of L.M. Montgomery

Adultery, illegitimacy, misogyny, revenge, murder, despair, bitterness, hatred, and death—usually not the first terms associated with L.M. Montgomery. But in The Blythes Are Quoted, completed shortly before her death and never before published in its entirety, Montgomery brought these topics to the forefront in what she intended to be the ninth volume in her bestselling series featuring the beloved heroine Anne. Divided into two sections, one set before and one after the Great War of 1914-1918, The Blythes Are Quoted contains fifteen short stories that include an adult Anne and her family. Between these short stories Montgomery inserted sketches featuring Anne and Gilbert Blythe discussing poems by Anne and their middle son, Walter, who dies as a soldier in the war. By blending together poetry, prose, and dialogue, Montgomery was experimenting with storytelling methods in ways she had never attempted before. The Blythes Are Quoted marks L.M. Montgomery’s final contribution to a body of work that continues to fascinate readers all over the world.