The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1889–1900

Editors: Mary Henley Rubio and Elizabeth Hillman Waterston
Paratexts: Foreword by Michael Bliss; Introduction and Notes by Mary Henley Rubio and Elizabeth Hillman Waterston
Publisher: Oxford University Press (Don Mills, ON)
Date: 2012
Pagination: xi + 484 pp.
Format: Jacketed hardcover
Trim: 6” x 9”
ISBN: 978-0-19-900210-8

The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1889–1900 is an unabridged and annotated edition of L.M. Montgomery’s journals that she kept from ages fourteen to twenty-six while living in Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia. It was edited and introduced by Mary Henley Rubio and Elizabeth Hillman Waterston, with a foreword by Michael Bliss, and was published by Oxford University Press as a jacketed hardcover in June 2012. It supplements The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery, Volume 1: 1889–1910 (1985), also edited by Rubio and Waterston, who at the time were directed to abridge Montgomery’s journal text by fifty per cent. A follow-up volume, The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1901–1911, was published in February 2013. A paperback edition followed in July 2017. This edition was followed by several volumes of Montgomery’s unabridged Ontario journals, beginning with L.M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals: The Ontario Years, 1911–1917, edited by Jen Rubio, appearing in June 2016.

From the Back Cover

The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery, first published by Oxford in 1985, contained half of the journals’ full contents. To save space and present an easily digestible, fast-moving narrative, passages describing Lucy Maud Montgomery’s darker, more reflective moods and her religious and philosophical speculations were cut. This unabridged edition of her early years on Prince Edward Island, however, reveals a different story.

Montgomery was a complex and profound personality. She was often anxious, bitter, and gloomy, although able to see herself and her surroundings from a deeply ironic—and often comical—viewpoint. Her unabridged journals demonstrate her ambition and determination to achieve literary success. They also reveal how she used writing to manage her turbulent moods, and how an increasing dependence on her journal helped shape her emotional landscape.

This new edition recreates the format Montgomery herself devised. Some 250 of her photographs, newspaper clippings, postcards, and professional portraits are reproduced, all with Montgomery’s original placement and captions. Michael Bliss’s new preface draws some surprising parallels with other great journal writers of Montgomery’s time, while the editors’ new introduction and notes provide indispensable insights into what the journals reveal, as well as what they hide.

From the Dust Jacket

L.M. Montgomery (1874–1942) had begun keeping a private journal before she turned fifteen. From 1918 onward, she had carefully copied out her entries and enriched them by inserting evocative pictures. She intended this detailed life record to be published posthumously. Montgomery’s long-hidden version of her early life was first published in 1985 as the bestselling Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery, Volume I: 1889–1910. At that time it seemed prudent to offer a tightly organized book with a strong central narrative. This decision meant setting aside many entries on her personal tastes, her effusions over landscape, and her increasing bouts of depression. The unabridged journals reveal for the first time new sides of L.M. Montgomery: a teenage girl becoming complexly aware of her sexuality; a young writer developing as an artist; and a woman suffering from incipient instability.


Acknowledgments (v)

Publisher’s Note (vi)

Foreword / Michael Bliss (vi–viii)

Introduction / Mary Henley Rubio and Elizabeth Hillman Waterston (ix–xi)

Journal Volume I (1–362)

1889 (2–14)

1890 (15–57)

1891 (58–109)

1892 (110–46)

1893 (147–84)

1894 (185–254)

1895 (255–301)

1896 (302–44)

1897 (345–62)

Journal Volume II (363–469)

1897 (363–83)

1898 (384–430)

1899 (431–46)

1900 (447–69)

Illustrations (470–72)

Index (473–84)


“Reading these pages and examining the teenaged Montgomery’s photographs, we are given a full and intimate look into the development of an astonishingly gifted young writer’s life and work.” —Jane Urquhart


Reviews by Julie Kentner, Benjamin Lefebvre, Mary McDonald-Rissanen, Nancy Schiefer, and Cheryl van Daalen-Smith.