Irene Gammel

Revisiting Anne and Montgomery

Three new books released this month invite readers to revisit the story of Anne of Green Gables and the life story L.M. Montgomery prepared for posthumous publication in the form of ten handwritten volumes of journals. All three books are the result of careful dedication on the part of volume editors whose painstaking attention to detail has made rare archival material come alive for Montgomery’s worldwide readership.

Cover art for ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT

First, Halifax publisher Nimbus Publishing has released Anne of Green Gables: The Original Manuscript, edited by Carolyn Strom Collins. This book consists of a transcription of the handwritten manuscript of Anne of Green Gables that showcases for the first time Montgomery’s creative process and elaborate revision system. It also includes, as an appendix, a gallery of rare covers of translated editions of the novel. Past scholarship has turned to the manuscript of Anne of Green Gables to study part of the writing process of the novel—revealing such details as the fact that Montgomery considered “Laura” and “Gertrude” as the names of Anne’s bosom friend before settling on “Diana”—but this book marks the first time readers will be able to see that creative process for themselves.

Anne of Green Gables: The Original Manuscript will be launched at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown on 1 August 2019.

Cover art for Imagining Anne: The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery

Also from Nimbus Publishing is a paperback edition of Elizabeth Rollins Epperly’s Imagining Anne: The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery, first published in hardcover in 2008 as part of Penguin Canada’s 100 Years of Anne celebration. This book features beautiful reproductions of key pages from two of Montgomery’s PEI scrapbooks on which she pasted a wide range of ephemera in order to create a visual archive for her creative process. In her commentary, Epperly suggests linkages between the individual items, the stories they tell in Montgomery’s arrangement of them on the page, and the way that they inspired key moments in Anne of Green Gables. As the back cover rightly proclaims, this book offers readers “a revealing look inside the mind of one of the most cherished writers of the twentieth century.”

The new edition of Imagining Anne will be launched at UPEI’s Robertson Library in Charlottetown on 25 July 2019.

Cover art for L.M. Montgomery's Complete Journals: The Ontario Years, 1930-1933

Finally, Rock’s Mills Press has published L.M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals: The Ontario Years, 1930–1933, the fifth volume of Montgomery’s unabridged Ontario journals prepared by Jen Rubio. This volume contains all diary entries dated 1930 to 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, at which point Montgomery and her family were living in Norval, Ontario. These were difficult years for her, especially due to a revelation made by one of her sons that distressed her so much that she was unable to write full diary entries for almost three years. Like Epperly’s Imagining Anne, this book offers readers “a revealing look inside the mind of one of the most cherished writers of the twentieth century,” but for very different reasons – it showcases the private anguish of a woman who, acutely aware of societal expectations, turned to her journal as a safe outlet for her worries and secrets, but her increased awareness of these journals as a document that she wanted to be published after her death also constrained her ability to be completely honest in this record of her life.

In addition to these three books, a number of recent journal articles and book chapters have been pushing the conversation about Montgomery’s life, work, and legacy in exciting new ways:

  • Elizabeth Rollins Epperly, “Reading Time: L.M. Montgomery and the ‘Alembic of Fiction’” (in Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies)
  • Irene Gammel, “‘We Are the Dead’: Rhetoric, Community and the Making of John McCrae’s Iconic War Poem” (in First World War Studies)
  • Caroline E. Jones, “Idylls of Play: L.M. Montgomery’s Child-Worlds” (in Children’s Play in Literature: Investigating the Strengths and the Subversions of the Playing Child)
  • Vappu Kannas, “‘Emily Equals Childhood and Youth and First Love’: Finnish Readers and L.M. Montgomery’s Anne and Emily Books” (in Reading Today)
  • Laura Leden, “Girls’ Classics and Constraints in Translation: A Case Study of Purifying Adaptation in the Swedish Translation of L.M. Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon” (in Barnboken)
  • Jane Nicholas, “The Children’s Séance: Child Death, the Body, and Grief in Interwar Ontario” (in The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth)
  • Christopher Parkes, “Anne Is Angry: Female Beauty and the Transformative Power of Cruelty in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables” (in Cruel Children in Popular Texts and Cultures)
  • Julie A. Sellers, “‘A Good Imagination Gone Wrong’: Reading Anne of Green Gables as a Quixotic Novel” (in Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies)
  • Rob Shields, “Lifelong Sorrow: Settler Affect, State and Trauma at Anne of Green Gables” (in Settler Colonial Studies)
  • Emily Stokes-Rees, “Re-thinking Anne: Representing Japanese Culture at a Quintessentially Canadian Site” (in Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change)
  • Janet Wesselius, “Anne’s Body Has a Mind (and Soul) of Its Own: Embodiment and the Cartesian Legacy in Anne of Green Gables” (in The Embodied Child: Readings in Children’s Literature and Culture)

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.

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.

New in Paperback

The following books will be rereleased in paperback over the next nine months:

Literary Lunch with Gammel and Epperly at TPL

The Toronto Public Library will host a Literary Lunch on “All about Anne and Lucy Maud Montgomery” on Thursday, 20 November 2008, between 12:30 and 2:00 PM:

Dr. Irene Gammel introduces her book Looking for Anne: How Lucy Maud Montgomery Dreamed Up a Literary Classic. Dr. Elizabeth Rollins Epperly discusses Imagining Anne: The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery. Q&A. Bring your own lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.

For more information, see the TPL announcement.

Green Gables to Globalization

Here are extracts from a press release for a conference called “Green Gables to Globalization: Crossover, Canada and Children’s Books”:

iBbY Ireland announces a one-day conference to be held on Saturday October 18th 2008 in The Church of Ireland College of Education, Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin 6.

The main theme of the conference will examine ways in which children’s literature transcend boundaries of all kinds, focusing in particular on crossover fiction and a sense of belonging in books from Canada, a post-colonial, multiethnic society.

Irene Gammel of Ryerson University will be speaking on “Looking for Anne of Green Gables: A Literary Icon at 100,” as part of the conference. For more information and for the complete program, visit the iBby Ireland website.

Anne-Mania Goes Global

Anne-mania goes global; Canada’s most famous literary export is being feted around the world

The Japanese, on the other hand, emphasize Annes almost mystical worship of nature and Montgomerys lyrical descriptions of the Island because those aspects of the novel tie in with Shinto—the native religion of Japan, which includes a belief in spirits associated with a particular place.

There are other reasons Anne appeals to Japanese fans.
The Japanese translation was published in 1952, when the horrors of the Second World War were still fresh and there were many orphans.

Anne also provides a complex model of femininity that resonates for Japanese women, according to Irene Gammel, author of Looking for Anne: How Lucy Maud Montgomery Dreamed Up a Literary Classic. “Anne is tempestuous, she has outbursts. Yet at the same time she is a good girl.”

Constrained by traditional gender roles, Anne’s mostly female Japanese fans appreciate the way Montgomery’s heroine “negotiates with people living in a narrow minded community which reminds them of their own society,” notes Japanese-born, Toronto-based Yuka Kajihara, a founding member of the L.M. Montgomery Research Group.