Lesley D. Clement

L.M. Montgomery at Home in Leaskdale

Photograph of a statue of L.M. Montgomery
Statue of L.M. Montgomery, located on the property of Leaskdale Presbyterian Church.

It’s almost that time of year again! The Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario will be holding its annual L.M. Montgomery day on Saturday, October 27, 2018. Several presenters will give papers on this year’s theme, L.M. Montgomery at Home in Leaskdale:

“Leaskdale Beginnings and Becomings: L.M. Montgomery and Motherhood” —Rita Bode, Lesley D. Clement, and Margaret Steffler

“‘Pangs and Passions’: L.M. Montgomery’s Reflections on Her Adolescence While Living in Leaskdale” —Melanie J. Fishbane

“The Town of Leaskdale during Montgomery’s Era: 1911 to 1926” —Alan MacGillivray

“Business Woman and Poet: L.M. Montgomery during the Leaskdale Years” —Benjamin Lefebvre

“Growing Independence: L.M. Montgomery in Leaskdale” —Caroline E. Jones

The day will conclude with a book signing featuring me and Melanie J. Fishbane. For more information and to register, see the calendar of events on the LMMSO website. Hope to see you there!

Join Us for The Spirit of Canada (Leaskdale, 20–22 October 2017)

Please join us next month for The Spirit of Canada: Celebrating a Canadian Literary Patriot, L.M. Montgomery, to be held at Leaskdale Manse National Historic Site (home of L.M. Montgomery from 1911 to 1926) on 20–22 October 2017.

Keynote speakers include Elizabeth Rollins Epperly (“Capturing Canada: L.M. Montgomery’s Career of Creating Place”) and Benjamin Lefebvre (“The Upward Climb to Heights Sublime: Private and Public Narratives in L.M. Montgomery’s ‘The Alpine Path'”).

The program also features presentations by Ted Barris, Rita Bode, Lesley D. Clement, Melanie J. Fishbane, Andrea McKenzie, Jen Rubio, Kate Scarth, and Emily Woster.

For more information, including a detailed agenda and a registration form, please visit the website for the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario.

L.M. Montgomery Day 2015 in Leaskdale

Please join us in Leaskdale, Ontario, on Saturday, 24 October 2015, for the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario’s annual L.M. Montgomery Day, which commemorates Montgomery’s arrival in Leaskdale as a minister’s wife in October 1911.

This year’s theme is Maud’s Landscapes: The Effect of Nature on Her Writing, and the schedule of events is as follows:

8:45 a.m.: Coffee and Registration

9:30 a.m.: Melanie Whitfield, President, LMMSO, Welcome; Gwen Layton, LMMSO, “Maud in the Garden: L.M. Montgomery’s Sense of Place in Her Leaskdale Literary Landscape”

10:00 a.m.: Melanie Fishbane, “Fairy Slopes and Phantom Shadows: L.M. Montgomery as Teen Poet”

10:35 a.m.: Vanessa Brown, “Hester Gray’s Garden”

11:10 a.m.: Break

11:25 a.m.: Benjamin Lefebvre, “In Lands Afar: L.M. Montgomery and the Re-creation of Prince Edward Island in Ontario”

12:00 p.m.: Lunch

1:00 p.m.: Kate Macdonald Butler, “Reflections on Filming Anne of Green Gables in 2015”

1:30 p.m.: Launch of L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years, 1911–1942, including remarks by editors Rita Bode and Lesley D. Clement

3:00 p.m.: Book signing and refreshments

4:00 p.m.: Walk to Rainbow Valley and Tour of the Leaskdale Manse

To obtain more information and to register, please visit the website for the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario.

Announcing the publication of L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years, 1911–1942

L.M. Montgomery's Rainbow ValleysCongratulations to Rita Bode and Lesley D. Clement on their new collection of essays, L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years, 1911–1942, which has just been published by McGill-Queen’s University Press! The volume consists of fourteen chapters of original scholarship by Kate Macdonald Butler, Mary Beth CavertLesley D. Clement, Melanie J. Fishbane, Natalie Forest, Caroline E. Jones, E. Holly Pike, Laura M. Robinson, Linda Rodenburg, Margaret Steffler, Kate Sutherland, William V. Thompson, Elizabeth Waterston, and Emily Woster, as well as an interlude by Katherine Cameron, an introduction by the volume editors, and an appendix by the volume editors with assistance from Kristina Eldridge and Chloe Verner.

“With its interest in placing Montgomery’s work in new cultural and historical contexts, L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys expands our understanding of this canonical Canadian author. Although there is no disputing that PEI had an enduring impact on Montgomery’s literary sensibility, Ontario played its part too, as the essays in this collection abundantly reveal.” –Janice Fiamengo, University of Ottawa

Announcing L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys

L.M. Montgomery's Rainbow ValleysAnnouncing L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years, 1911–1942, a collection of essays edited by Rita Bode and Lesley D. Clement, to be published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in October 2015!

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) and Anne of Green Gables will always be associated with Prince Edward Island, Montgomery’s childhood home and the setting of her most famous novels. Yet, after marrying Rev. Ewan Macdonald in 1911, she lived in Ontario for three decades. There she became a mother of two sons, fulfilled the duties of a minister’s wife, advocated for copyright protection and recognition of Canadian literature, wrote prolifically, and reached a global readership that has never waned.

Engaging with discussions on both her life and her fiction, L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys explores the joys, sorrows, and literature that emerged from her transformative years in Ontario. While this time brought Montgomery much pleasure and acclaim, it was also challenged and complicated by a sense of displacement and the need to self-fashion and self-dramatize as she struggled to align her private self with her public persona. Written by scholars from various fields and including a contribution by Montgomery’s granddaughter, this volume covers topics such as war, religion, women’s lives, friendships, loss, and grief, focusing on a range of related themes to explore Montgomery’s varied states of mind.

An in-depth study of one of Canada’s most internationally acclaimed authors, L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys shows how she recreated herself as an Ontario writer and adapted to the rapidly changing world of the twentieth century.

Four New Calls for Papers

I’m pleased to post four new calls for papers on L.M. Montgomery and her work. The first two were included in the program for the L.M. Montgomery and War conference, held this past weekend at the University of Prince Edward Island: a collection of essays entitled L.M. Montgomery and War, to be edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell, and a call for the 2016 conference, L.M. Montgomery and Gender, with Andrea McKenzie and Laura M. Robinson as conference co-chairs. The remaining two are for proposed panels for the NeMLA conference, to be held in Toronto in April 2015: L.M. Montgomery’s Ontario Years, 1911–42: A Changing World, to be chaired by Lesley D. Clement, and Beyond “Green Gables”: L.M. Montgomery’s Darker Side, to be chaired by Laura M. Robinson.

UPDATE: The dates of the L.M. Montgomery and Gender conference have been confirmed: 23–26 June 2016! Deadline for submissions is 15 August 2015.

L.M. Montgomery and War (Collection of Essays)

Edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell
Deadline for Papers: 15 August 2014

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, a global conflict that would prove life-changing for L.M. Montgomery and millions of her contemporaries. We invite submissions of papers for a collection of essays that consider war in relation to L.M. Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, life writing, photographs, and scrapbooks, and the range of adaptations and spinoffs in the areas of film, television, theatre, tourism, and online
communities. McGill-Queen’s University Press has expressed interest in this collection.

Montgomery’s 1921 novel Rilla of Ingleside is one of the only contemporary accounts of Canadian women’s experience on the homefront during the First World War, but the War is evoked and implied in direct and indirect ways in many of the novels, short stories, and poems that precede and follow it. The Blythes Are Quoted, Montgomery’s final published work, bridges the years between the First World War and the Second World War, complicating Montgomery’s perspectives and thoughts about war and conflict. Montgomery’s work has met with a variety of responses world-wide during times of war and rebellion, from post-WWII Japan to today’s Middle Eastern countries. Different kinds of wars and rebellions also permeate her fiction and life writing—class conflicts, family disputes, gender and language wars—sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic. This essay collection seeks to take stock of the complex ways in which war in all its forms has influenced Montgomery’s works and their reception, both in Canada and around the world.

Possible topics include: the Great War anticipated, revisited, remembered, and re-imagined; the politics of gendered witnessing; Montgomery’s reception in times of war and conflict; chivalry, patriarchy, conflict, and romance in poetry and fiction; war as an agent of change; internal and external rebellion in relation to war; the psychology of war in battle and on the homefront.

Papers should clearly articulate the proposed paper’s argument and demonstrate familiarity with current scholarship about both Montgomery and the discipline or field in which you work. (For information about current and past scholarship about Montgomery, please see the website for L.M. Montgomery Online at http://lmmonline.org). Submit a paper of 5,000 to 6,000 words (including references), a biographical statement of 70 words, and a CV by 15 August 2014 to both Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com) and Jane Ledwell (jandlwedll@gmail.com). Papers must be submitted in Word-compatible format and follow Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, superscript style, for references https://www.mqup.ca/style-guide-pages-99.php.

L.M. Montgomery and Gender (23–26 June 2016)

The L.M. Montgomery Institute’s Twelfth Biennial Conference
University of Prince Edward Island, 23–26 June 2016
Revised deadline: 31 August 2015

From Anne’s initial iconic and heartrending cry in Anne of Green Gables—“You don’t want me because I’m not a boy”—to the pressure on young men to join the war effort in Rilla of Ingleside, and from the houseful of supportive co-eds in Anne of the Island to the tyrannical grandmother in Jane of Lantern Hill, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s work highlights gender roles: how formative and deterministic they seem, and yet mutable they may be. Much Montgomery criticism of the past several decades has regarded her work from a feminist and gender studies perspective. Given that Canada is fast approaching the centenary of women’s suffrage in the province of Manitoba (1916) and nationally (1918), the twelfth biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, which will take place 23–26 June 2016, invites proposals for papers that re-consider the role of gender in L.M. Montgomery’s work, broadly defined: her fiction, poetry, life writing, letters, photographs, and scrapbooks, as well as the myriad adaptations and spinoffs in film, television, theatre, tourism, and social media. To what degree do Montgomery’s works, or works inspired by her, challenge or re-entrench normative gender roles? Do her works envision new possibilities for girls and women, boys and men? Or, is our contemporary fascination with her world, in part, nostalgia for what people imagine to be the more clearly-defined gender roles of a bygone era?

Engaging the rich scholarship of the past, possible topics might examine the intersection of gender with:

  • Sexual identity, queerness, bachelor- and spinsterhood, and/or heterosexual romance;
  • Friendship of all kinds; relationships with personal and professional acquaintances;
  • Geographic, cultural, linguistic, racial, or ethnic identities, such as Scottishness;
  • Voting and politics; careers and/or education for women (or men); domesticity;
  • Levels of ability and mobility;
  • Childhood, particularly orphanhood;
  • Mental and/or physical illness, addiction, and/or failing health.

Please submit a proposal of 250–300 words, a CV that includes education, position, publications, and presentations, and a list of A/V requirements by 31 August 2015 by using our online form at the L.M. Montgomery Institute website at http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/. Abstracts should not only clearly articulate a strong argument but they should also situate that argument in the context of previous Montgomery scholarship. All proposals are blind reviewed. Any questions or requests for further information can be directed to the conference co-chairs: Dr. Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com) and/or Dr. Laura Robinson (Laura.Robinson@rmc.ca).

L.M. Montgomery’s Ontario Years, 1911–42: A Changing World (April 2015)

L.M. Montgomery lived in Ontario from 1911 to 1942, writing fiction that confirmed her place, established by the early Anne novels, in not just Canadian letters but world literature. This session will explore familial, cultural, historical, and geographical influences on her writings during the period that Montgomery lived in Leaskdale, Norval, and Toronto and vacationed in Bala. Bookended by the First and Second World Wars, this period is characterized by changes such as redefined roles for women, increasing commercialization and commodification, and power struggles among those in the literary establishment to shape the canon. Please submit a 250–300-word abstract and short bio online at www.nemla.org. Deadline: 30 September 2014. For further information, contact Lesley Clement at lclement@lakeheadu.ca.

Beyond “Green Gables”: L.M. Montgomery’s Darker Side (April 2015)

A proposed panel for NeMLA 2015 in Toronto

L.M. Montgomery’s last work, The Blythes Are Quoted, and how it came into being, remains largely untouched. This collection of stories and vignettes emphasizes disillusionment and “despair” alongside hope; it is an experiment in form, but a continuation of earlier works in content. This panel seeks to explore the darker threads of Montgomery’s earlier writings, from dark humor and wit to tragedy, examining earlier iterations and themes that better illuminate how her final work came into being. Please submit a 250–300-word abstract and short bio online at www.nemla.org. Deadline: 30 September 2014. For further information, contact Laura M. Robinson at laura.robinson@rmc.ca.

CFP: L.M. Montgomery: The Ontario Years (1911–1942)

For thirty years, L.M. Montgomery lived in Ontario, writing fiction that confirmed her place, established by the early Anne novels, in the Canadian canon. While much has been written on the familial, cultural, historical, and geographical associations of and influences on her writings of her early years in Prince Edward Island, there is much left to be explored of similar associations and influences from the years Montgomery lived in Leaskdale, Norval, and Toronto and vacationed in Bala. The 2011 centennial celebration, hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Society of Ontario last October, began this conversation in a more formal capacity than had previously occurred. This call-for-papers is for a collection of essays that would not only continue the conversations sparked during this celebration but also open up new dialogues. The editors are particularly interested in discussions of literary influences, specific intellectual interests, events, people, and locales pertaining to Ontario and/or the years 1911–42 that contributed to Montgomery’s fictional and life writing and her photography. If you would like to contribute to this publication, please submit an abstract (c500 words) of your proposed paper and a curriculum vitae (no more than two pages) by Friday, 31 August 2012 to Rita Bode (rbode[at]trentu[dot]ca) and Lesley Clement (lclement[at]lakeheadu[dot]ca). We will contact you about the status of your proposal by the end of October, 2012, at which stage we will be approaching university presses that have a special interest in Canadian literature and culture. If the editors invite you to submit a paper, it should be 18-22 double-spaced pages (including endnotes and bibliography) and would be due the end of February, 2013. Please address any queries to above editors.