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Author: Benjamin Lefebvre

Updates: Wilson, Kessler

There’s a blurb about the Budge Wilson prequel planned for release next month in yesterday’s Globe and Mail:

Penguin plans Anne prequel for anniversary

December 19, 2007 at 4:59 AM EST
Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables, the classic novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery. That yarn is now in the public domain—Montgomery died in Toronto in 1942—but Canada’s Penguin Group is marking the anniversary next month with a “prequel” it has commissioned in association with the Montgomery estate.

The novel, to be published Jan. 29, is called Before Green Gables and it’s the work of veteran Nova Scotia author Budge Wilson.

Not only that, but Nimbus Publishing is releasing a new abridgment of Anne of Green Gables by Deirdre Kessler, called Anne of Green Gables: Stories for Young People. Illustrated by David Preston Smith and scheduled for publication in May 2008, the book is available for pre-order on No word yet on whether this is a re-issue of Kessler’s 1983 A Child’s Anne.

Here’s a look at the cover art:

Cover art for Irene Gammel’s Looking for Anne

We are pleased to present for the first time the cover for Irene Gammel’s upcoming book, Looking for Anne: How Lucy Maud Montgomery Dreamed Up a Literary Classic, to be published in March 2008 by Key Porter Books (Canada) and St. Martin’s Press (USA). More information about this book will be posted here closer to the publication date.

New Book on Montgomery and Conflict

A new collection of essays, entitled Storm and Dissonance: L.M. Montgomery and Conflict and edited by Jean Mitchell, will be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2008. Stay tuned for a release date, but in the meantime here is the table of contents.

List of Images and Figures




Storm and Dissonance: L.M. Montgomery and Conflict / Jean Mitchell

Part 1: Narrating Self and Other

L.M. Montgomery: The Darker Side / Margaret Doody

L.M. Montgomery and the Anguish of Mother Loss / Rita Bode

L.M. Montgomery and the Conflictedness of a Woman Writer / Carole Gerson

Part 2: A World of Conflict and Private Sorrows

Women at War: L.M. Montgomery, the Great War, and Canadian Cultural Memory / Andrea McKenzie

“That Abominable War”: The Blythes Are Quoted and Thoughts on L.M. Montgomery’s Late Style / Benjamin Lefebvre

Opposing Pacifism: L.M. Montgomery and the Trouble with Ephraim Weber / Paul Tiessen

Reflections of the Great Depression in L.M. Montgomery’s Life and Her Pat Books / Heidi MacDonald

Part 3: Performing Difference(s)

“Tempest in a Teapot”: Domestic Service and Class Conflict in L.M. Montgomery’s Journals and Fiction / E. Holly Pike

Performing Motherhood: L.M. Montgomery’s Display of Maternal Dissonance / Margaret Steffler

Montgomery’s “Imp”: Conflicting Representations of Illness in L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle / Kylee-Anne Hingston

The Fresh-Air Controversy, Health, and Art in L.M. Montgomery’s Emily Novels / Susan Meyer

Sustainable Dissonance: Becoming-Anne through L.M. Montgomery and Sullivan’s Anne of Green Gables / Pamela Rossi-Keen

Love and Controversy for Over Eighty Years: Anne, Emily, and Finnish Women: An Interview / Suvi Ahola and Satu Koskimies

Part 4: Avoiding, Mediating, and Resolving Conflicts

Out the Open Window: Avoidance as Conflict Resolution in L.M. Montgomery’s Short Fiction / Trinna S. Frever

You d—d idiot!” What L.M. Montgomery’s Silent Heroines Really Want to Say / Sarah Clair Atkinson

The Conflicted Worlds behind the Letters of L.M. Montgomery and Ephraim Weber / Hildi Froese Tiessen

“Even a Successful Lawsuit Will Be a Worry”: Law and Community Relations in L.M. Montgomery’s Life and Work / Kate Sutherland

Part V: Troubling, Translations and Dissonant Re-readings

“‘Outrageously Sexual’ Anne”: The Media and Montgomery / Laura Robinson

Conflicting Images: Anne of Green Gables in Germany / Martina Seifert

Hanako Muraoka’s Famous and Truncated Translation of Anne of Green Gables: Some Lingering Questions / Danièle Allard

“Bound for Quebec” or “Journey’s End”? Conflicting Stories about the Montgomery Family’s Arrival in Prince Edward Island / Carolyn Strom Collins

How Green is Green Gables?: An Ecofeminist Perspective on L.M. Montgomery / Nancy Holmes


What Occurs: Storm, Dissonance, and Conflict in L.M. Montgomery’s Life and Writing / Jane Ledwell


New Article on Sentimental Fiction and the Victorian Sickroom

The latest issue of The Lion and the Unicorn (31.3, September 2007) is now available through ProjectMuse to subscribing libraries. The issue includes Kate Lawson’s new article, “The Victorian Sickroom in L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle and Emily’s Quest: Sentimental Fiction and the Selling of Dreams” (232–49).

Call for Papers: Anne of Green Gables: New Directions at 100

This member-organized session of the 2008 ACCUTE conference at the University of British Columbia welcomes proposals for papers that will coincide with the centennial anniversary of the publication of an important Canadian literary classic, Anne of Green Gables (1908), and with a national exhibition Looking for Anne: Tracing Visual Culture and L.M. Montgomery’s Creative Imagination.

The organizers are interested in proposals related to any aspect of Montgomery’s text, its cultural production, its reception history, and its cultural inspirations. Innovative approaches including interdisciplinary perspectives that make us see Anne and the world of Avonlea in new ways are particularly encouraged.

The deadline for submissions is November 26. Submitters must be ACCUTE members in good standing. Proposals should clearly indicate the originality and significance of the argument and include a list of works cited. Links to relevant Montgomery scholarship are essential; please visit for an updated list of Montgomery materials.

Please send an electronic copy of your proposal (500-700 words), a completed Proposal Submitter’s Information Sheet, and a file containing a 100-word abstract and a 50-word bio-bibliographical note to both co-chairs:

Dr. Irene Gammel
Department of English
Ryerson University

Dr. Benjamin Lefebvre
Department of English and Film Studies
University of Alberta

Update on Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning!

The following article was published a few days ago on

New ‘Anne of Green Gables’ coming to CTV

Updated Tue. Oct. 16 2007 10:27 AM ET

The perennially freckled and red-haired Anne Shirley will return to television in 2008, with a new three-hour movie set to debut on CTV.

Actor Hannah Endicott-Douglas is shown in a handout photo. (CTV)
“To say that we are excited about bringing the Anne of Green Gables franchise to CTV would be an understatement!” said Kevin Sullivan, president of Sullivan Entertainment.

“Ivan Fecan and I created the “Avonlea/Family Hour” franchise on CBC in the early 90s and together we made it into one of Canada’s most successful weekly television events.”

In addition to the film, CTV has acquired the entire “Anne” catalogue, including the original 1985 mini-series.

The movie is a prequel to the “Anne of Green Gables” series, entitled “Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning.”

Picked from over 1,000 hopefuls, Toronto native Hannah Endicott-Douglas will play the new Anne.

The search for the star included an open casting call on YouTube and a cross-Canada audition tour that lasted for three months. Sullivan, an award winning filmmaker, personally selected the winner.

Endicott-Douglas has also appeared in “The Good Witch” and “Samantha: An American Girl.”

Academy Award nominee Barbara Hershey will also appear in the film as Anne later in life, in her 50s. Rachel Blanchard also stars as Louise.

Sullivan has written a completely new screenplay for the three hour movie, which follows Anne’s life before arriving at Green Gables. Sullivan is also directing and executive producing the feature.

“Anne of Green Gables is an enduring and endearing worldwide franchise,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.

“We welcome Anne with great respect and look forward to the world premiere of ‘A New Beginning’ on CTV.”

CTV’s acquisition includes:

  • Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (TV Movie, three hours)
  • Anne of Green Gables; Anne of Green Gables – The Sequel; Anne of Green Gables – The Continuing Story (Mini-Series; 13 hours)
  • Road to Avonlea (TV Series; 91 hours)
  • Road to Avonlea Christmas (TV Movie; two hours)
  • Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series (TV Series; 13 hours)
  • Anne, Journey to Green Gables (Animated Feature, two hours)
  • The Magic Flute Diaries (Feature, two hours)
  • Mozart Decoded – The Magic Flute Diaries Documentary (Documentary, 1 hour)
  • Anne Trilogy Documentary (Documentary, 1 hour)

“Anne of Green Gables” and “Road to Avonlea” have been broadcast in over 140 countries around the world and have won numerous awards including four Emmys, the George Foster Peabody Award, CableAce Awards and numerous Gemini’s.

“Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel” originally aired in 1987 and has remained the highest rated mini-series ever to air in Canada with an audience of 5.4 million.

Also, the following article appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix:

Three-month search yields new Anne of Green Gables

Maria Kubacki, CanWest News Service

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Her red hair may come from a bottle but Hannah Endicott-Douglas is a natural for her new role as Anne Shirley.

The 12-year-old blonde actress from Toronto has been chosen to play one of Canada’s most beloved cultural icons in a prequel to the original Anne of Green Gables mini-series starring Megan Follows. It’s a series she is intimately familiar with, having played out scenes from it with her older sister, Vivien, since she was a toddler.

“I’m a very big Anne fan. I have been for a very long time,” said Hannah in a telephone interview from her home in Toronto on the eve of her first day of shooting.

It was Vivien who usually played Anne, while Hannah portrayed the supporting characters.

Now it’s Hannah’s turn to be Anne, and 16-year-old Vivien will play Violetta, a character at odds with Anne in the beginning.

Hannah has read L.M. Montgomery’s classic novel and says what she likes about Canada’s favourite fictional orphan is “her way to look on the bright side, her imagination and her fiery temper.”

The Grade 8 student, who dyed her hair for the role, was crowned the new Anne after a three-month search by Sullivan Entertainment, which included an open casting call on YouTube, a cross-Canada audition tour and nearly 1,000 audition submissions from Canada, the U.S., England and Australia.

“She was the one who had the shine,” said writer/producer/director Kevin Sullivan, the man behind the original series. “She’s spunky, she’s got a tender heart,” said Sullivan in a telephone interview.

But Hannah — whose previous television credits include The Good Witch and Samantha: An American Girl Holiday — also had a quality Sullivan saw in Follows, and in the young Sarah Polley (who starred in another Sullivan Entertainment series, Road to Avonlea). “This kid is a pro,” he said.

Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning is based on an original screenplay by Sullivan and focuses on Anne’s life before she came to Green Gables. The screenplay draws on elements in Montgomery’s novel but Sullivan admits he had to make a lot of it up. “It’s a three-hour movie.”

Hannah plays the young orphan, and Emmy and Golden-Globe winning actress Barbara Hershey (The Portrait of a Lady, Hannah and Her Sisters) portrays a 50-something Anne looking back on her life.

Rachel Blanchard (7th Heaven, Clueless) plays Louisa Thomas, a character mentioned in Montgomery’s novel; additional casting will be announced soon.

Production has begun and the movie will premiere on CTV in 2008 in time for the 100th anniversary of the publication of Montgomery’s novel.