Rilla of Ingleside

Cover art for Rilla of Ingleside, published by McClelland and Stewart (Canada) and Frederick A. Stokes Company (USA) in 1921.

Rilla of Ingleside is L.M. Montgomery’s twelfth book, first published in Fall 1921 by Toronto publisher McClelland and Stewart and New York publisher the Frederick A. Stokes Company. It is the eighth of eleven books to feature Montgomery’s protagonist Anne Shirley Blythe, preceded by Anne of Green Gables (1908), Anne of Avonlea (1909), Chronicles of Avonlea (1912), Anne of the Island (1915), Anne’s House of Dreams (1917), Rainbow Valley (1919), and Further Chronicles of Avonlea (1920). It was followed by the first book about a new protagonist, Emily of New Moon (1923). After completing Rilla of Ingleside Montgomery vowed that this would be the last of the Anne books, but fifteen years later, partly due to the financial success of the 1934 film based on Anne of Green Gables, Montgomery wrote three additional books to fill in gaps in the overall chronology: Anne of Windy Poplars (1936), Anne of Ingleside (1939), and The Blythes Are Quoted (2009).

Rilla of Ingleside is one of the only contemporary fictional accounts of the experiences of women and children at the Canadian home front during the First World War. It was begun within months of the war’s end in November 1918 and the death of Montgomery’s first cousin and closest friend, Frederica Campbell McFarlane, to whose memory the book is dedicated. It reflects the conviction felt by Montgomery and many of her contemporaries that a new, utopian world would emerge out of the ashes of war—a sentiment that Montgomery would revisit in her final book, The Blythes Are Quoted.

A later reprint of Rilla of Ingleside silently abridged the text by 4,500 words, and it is this text that has been available to North American readers since the 1980s. A restored, unabridged, and annotated edition, edited by Benjamin Lefebvre and Andrea McKenzie, was published by Viking Canada in October 2010. It contains the full text of Virna Sheard’s poem “The Young Knights,” which Montgomery excerpted as her epigraph.

Epigraph

“Now they remain to us forever young
Who with such splendour gave their
youth away.”
—Sheard

Dedication

“To the memory of Frederica Campbell MacFarlane who went away from me when the dawn broke on January 25th, 1919—a true friend, a rare personality, a loyal and courageous soul.”

Contents

I. Glen “Notes” and Other Matters

II. Dew of Morning

III. Moonlit Mirth

IV. The Piper Pipes

V. “The Sound of a Going”

VI. Susan, Rilla, and Dog Monday Make a Resolution

VII. A War-Baby and a Soup Tureen

VIII. Rilla Decides

IX. Doc Has a Misadventure

X. The Troubles of Rilla

XI. Dark and Bright

XII. In the Days of Langemarck

XIII. A Slice of Humble Pie

XIV. The Valley of Decision

XV. Until the Day Break

XVI. Realism and Romance

XVII. The Weeks Wear By

XVIII. A War-Wedding

XIX. “They Shall Not Pass”

XX. Norman Douglas Speaks Out in Meeting

XXI. “Love Affairs Are Horrible”

XXII. Little Dog Monday Knows

XXIII. “And So, Goodnight”

XXIV. Mary Is Just in Time

XXV. Shirley Goes

XXVI. Susan Has a Proposal of Marriage

XXVII. Waiting

XXVIII. Black Sunday

XXIX. “Wounded and Missing”

XXX. The Turning of the Tide

XXXI. Mrs. Matilda Pitman

XXXII. Word from Jem

XXXIII. Victory!

XXXIV. Mr. Hyde Goes to His Own Place and Susan Takes a Honeymoon

XXXV. “Rilla-My-Rilla!”