Harvesting Thistles: The Textual Garden of L.M. Montgomery; Essays on Her Novels and Journals

Editor: Mary Henley Rubio
Paratext: Introduction by Mary Henley Rubio
Publisher: Canadian Children’s Press (Guelph)
Date: 1994
Pagination: xi + 185 pp.
Format: Trade paperback
Trim: 8.5” x 5.75”
ISBN: 0-920512-10-0

Harvesting Thistles: The Textual Garden of L.M. Montgomery; Essays on Her Novels and Journals is a collection of essays edited and introduced by Mary Henley Rubio. It includes original scholarship by Gabriella Åhmansson, Temma F. Berg, Marie Campbell, Owen Dudley Edwards, Elizabeth R. Epperly, Edith Fowke, Laura Higgins, E. Holly Pike, Catherine Sheldrick Ross, Jennie Rubio, Patricia Kelly Santelmann, Clara Thomas, Margaret E. Turner, Elizabeth Waterston, Gavin White, and Denyse Yeast. It was published as a trade paperback by Canadian Children’s Press in June 1994.

From the Back Cover

This collection of essays calls for new interpretative strategies in reading the texts of Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874–1942), author of Anne of Green Gables (1908). Long overlooked in academic critical discourse as a writer of popular and children’s fiction, Montgomery is reread here in the light of gender and cultural studies, as well as of autobiographical theory. The first section of essays places Montgomery and her texts (including her journals) in a literary and cultural context; the second section focuses on selected individual novels. In these essays by an international group of scholars from the United Kingdom, the USA, Scandinavia, and Canada, Montgomery is established as an immensely influential writer who has gained and maintained a world-wide readership throughout the twentieth century.

A best-selling writer in her native Canada and throughout the world, Montgomery published some 20 books, over 500 short stories and over 500 poems during her lifetime. At her death she left 10 volumes of unpublished 500-page journals, covering the years from 1889–1942, whose recent publication has added immensely to our understanding of the interior life of a woman of her era.

Contents

Acknowledgements (v)

List of Illustrations (vi)

Contributors (ix–xi)

Part 1: Contexts

Introduction: Harvesting Thistles in Montgomery’s Textual Garden / Mary Henley Rubio (1–13)

“Mayflowers Grow in Sweden Too”: L.M. Montgomery, Astrid Lindgren and the Swedish Literary Consciousness / Gabriella Åhmansson (14–22)

Readers Reading L.M. Montgomery / Catherine Sheldrick Ross (23–35)

Sisterhood is Fearful: Female Friendship in L.M. Montgomery / Temma F. Berg (36–49)

The Heroine Who Writes and Her Creator / E. Holly Pike (50–57)

Anne Shirley’s American Cousin: The Girl of the Limberlost / Clara Thomas (58–63)

Written as Women Write: Anne of Green Gables within the Female Literary Tradition / Patricia Kelly Santelmann (64–73)

Approaching the Montgomery Manuscripts / Elizabeth R. Epperly (74–83)

The Religious Thought of L.M. Montgomery / Gavin White (84–88)

A Note on Montgomery’s Use of a “Contemporary Legend” in Emily Climbs / Edith Fowke (89–92)

“I mean to try, as far as in me lies, to paint my life and deeds truthfully”: Autobiographical Process in the L.M. Montgomery Journals / Margaret E. Turner (93–100)

Snapshot Portraits: Finding L.M. Montgomery in Her “Dear Den” / Laura Higgins (101–12)

Negotiating Friendships: The Reading and Writing of L.M. Montgomery / Denyse Yeast (113–25)

Part 2: Texts

L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside: Intention, Inclusion, Implosion / Owen Dudley Edwards (126–36)

Wedding Bells and Death Knells: The Writer as Bride in the Emily Trilogy / Marie Campbell (137–45)

Textual/Sexual Space in The Blue Castle: Valancy Stirling’s “Room of Her Own” / Gabriella Åhmansson (146–54)

Marigold and the Magic of Memory / Elizabeth Waterston (155–66)

“Strewn with Dead Bodies”: Women and Gossip in Anne of Ingleside / Jennie Rubio (167–77)

Index (178–85)

Reviews

Reviews by Judy Dudar, Barbara Carman Garner, and Anne K. Phillips.