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A Note on the Epigraph to Rilla of Ingleside

Cover of the original edition of L.M. Montgomery's Rilla of Ingleside, published in 1921. In the centre is a painted image of a young Caucasian woman wearing a white dress and a red jacket clutching a letter and sitting on the ground, with trees behind her and poppies scattered at her feet. The image is surrounded by a design elements that indicate the author's name and the book title against a navy-blue background.

Today came the official announcement of the signing of the armistice! The Great War is over—the world’s agony has ended. What has been born? The next generation may be able to answer that. We can never know fully.

—L.M. Montgomery, journal entry dated 11 November 1918

Given that not only is today Remembrance Day but also this year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of L.M. Montgomery’s Great War novel Rilla of Ingleside, I thought this might be a good opportunity to share with you some findings about an aspect of Montgomery’s work that I’ve long found fascinating, since it has to do with her attempts to engage with the work of fellow Canadian writers.

As her journals and letters show, Montgomery’s reading interests overall were quite broad, but she had a particular fondness for the work of canonical nineteenth-century poets (mostly male) who were located in England, Scotland, and the United States. And so, since her books are filled with allusions to and quotations from a vast array of literary works, it’s not surprising that the same names recur several times.

If we look specifically at her books’ epigraphs—short quotations that appear near the beginning of a book as a way to offer readers a hint about its contents (particularly for readers who recognize the quotation and can place it in the context of the overall work)—we can see a clear pattern in terms of what texts and what authors Montgomery chose to highlight. Of the ten books by Montgomery that begin with an epigraph from someone else’s work, all but one quote the work of a male poet from outside Canada: Robert Browning (Anne of Green Gables), John Greenleaf Whittier (Anne of Avonlea and Chronicles of Avonlea), James Hogg (Kilmeny of the Orchard), George Gordon, Lord Byron (The Story Girl), Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Anne of the Island), Rupert Brooke (Anne’s House of Dreams), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Rainbow Valley), and Rudyard Kipling (Pat of Silver Bush).

Title page of the original edition of Rilla of Ingleside, with the following text elements: RILLA OF INGLESIDE / by / L.M. Montgomery // Author of “Anne of Green Gables,” “Anne of the Island,” “Anne’s House of Dreams,” “Rainbow Valley,” “The Story Girl,” “The Watchman,” etc. // "Now they remain to us forever young / Who with such splendour gave their youth away.” / —Sheard / With frontispiece in colour by / M.L. Kirk // Toronto / McClelland and Stewart, Limited / Publishers

The epigraph to Rilla of Ingleside is thus unique in two particular ways: first, its author, Virna Sheard, is the only Canadian as well as the only woman whose work appears in one of Montgomery’s epigraphs; and second, Sheard is so relatively unknown that when Rea Wilmshurst published her list of literary allusions in the Anne books in Canadian Children’s Literature / Littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse in 1989, she was unable to identify the poem by Sheard in question. In the years then, as more and more print materials have been digitized and made text searchable, it’s been far easier to determine that these lines are from Sheard’s poem “The Young Knights,” which appeared in her 1917 collection Carry On! and which was reprinted in John W. Garvin’s anthology Canadian Poems of the Great War (1918). Montgomery’s poem “Our Women” also appears in that anthology, so it would seem plausible that she had come across Sheard’s poem in that anthology and used it when she started writing Rilla of Ingleside in mid-March 1919.

The problem, though, is that the lines from Sheard’s poem as they appear on the title page of Rilla of Ingleside don’t quite match the way they appear in Carry On! or in Canadian Poems of the Great War. Here is a detail from the title page of Rilla of Ingleside.

Detail from the title page of the first edition of /Rilla of Ingleside/, with text as follows: "'Now they remain to us forever young / Who with such splendour gave their / youth away.” / —Sheard

Note the preference here for the Canadian spelling of “splendour” and the line break just before “youth away.” In the versions appearing in Sheard’s and Garvin’s books, these elements appear slightly differently:

Detail from /Carry On!/, by Virna Sheard, with text as follows: “’The Young Knights’ // Now they remain to us forever young / Who with such splendor gave their you away; / Perpetual Spring is their inheritance, / Though they have lived in Flanders and in France / A round of years, in one remembered day.
Detail from /Canadian Poems of the Great War/, edited by John W. Garvin, with text as follows: “’The Young Knights’ // Now they remain to us forever young / Who with such splendor gave their you away; / Perpetual Spring is their inheritance, / Though they have lived in Flanders and in France / A round of years, in one remembered day.

In Carry On!, the first of the two images, the text opts for the American spelling of “splendor,” and in both versions there’s no line break before “youth away” as there is on the title page of Rilla of Ingleside. There seemed to be a mystery here and I knew it would continue to bug me until I figured it out.

And so, when Andrea McKenzie and I started discussing Rilla of Ingleside at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic on the L.M. Montgomery Readathon, I decided to take another look at the surviving files. I found a digital copy of Carry On! on the website of the Canadiana digital project, so I combed through the rest of the book and noticed that Sheard mentions in the acknowledgements section that “The Young Knights” was one of several poems in the collection that was first published in the Toronto Globe (now the Globe and Mail). Lo and behold, a quick search through the digital archives of the Globe showed that the poem appeared in that newspaper on 23 May 1916:

Detail from “The Young Knights” by Virna Sheard, published in the Toronto Globe on 23 May 1916, with text as follows: “’The Young Knights’ // Now they remain to us forever young / Who with such splendor gave their / youth away; / Perpetual Spring is their inheritance, / Though they have lived in Flanders / and in France / A round of years, in one remembered / day.

Because this poem appeared in a newspaper with narrow columns, longer lines of poetry needed to broken in two and indented, as happens three times in this stanza. So even though this Globe version uses the U.S. spelling of “splendor,” it seems more likely that Montgomery drew on this newspaper version when writing her book. Not to mention that, on the title of her handwritten manuscript, she writes “splendor” instead of “splendour,” so presumably the change to Canadian spelling was made at the typescript stage or at the typesetting stage.

Detail from the title page of the handwritten manuscript of /Rilla of Ingleside/, with text as follows: ”’Now they remain to us forever young / Who with such splendor gave their / youth away.’ —Sheard.”

These are obviously minor differences between texts, and devoting an entire blog post to them may seem somewhat excessive. To close, then, here is the full text of Virna Sheard’s poem “The Young Knights,” as it appeared in her book Carry On!, published in 1917:

Now they remain to us forever young
      Who with such splendor gave their youth away;
Perpetual Spring is their inheritance,
      Though they have lived in Flanders and in France
A round of years, in one remembered day.

They drained life’s goblet as a joyous draught
      And left within the cup no bitter lees.
Sweetly they answered to the King’s behest,
      And gallantly fared forth upon a quest,
Beset by foes on land and on the seas.

So in the ancient world hath bloomed again
      The rose of old romance—red as of yore;
The flower of high emprise hath whitely blown
      Above the graves of those we call our own,
And we will know its fragrance evermore.

Now if their deeds were written with the stars,
      In golden letters on the midnight sky
They would not care. They were so young, and dear,
      They loved the best the things that were most near,
And gave no thought to glory far and high.

They need no shafts of marble pure and cold—
      No painted windows radiantly bright;
Across our hearts their names are carven deep—
      In waking dreams, and in the dreams of sleep,
They bring us still ineffable delight.

Methinks heaven’s gates swing open very wide
      To welcome in a host so fair and strong;
Perchance the unharmed angels as they sing,
      May envy these the battle-scars they bring,
And sigh e’er they take up the triumph song!

Image Credits

  1. Cover of the original edition of L.M. Montgomery’s novel Rilla of Ingleside, published by McClelland and Stewart (Toronto) and Frederick A. Stokes Company (New York) in 1921. Courtesy of the Internet Archive.
  2. Title page of the original edition of L.M. Montgomery’s novel Rilla of Ingleside, published by McClelland and Stewart in 1921. Courtesy of the Internet Archive.
  3. Detail from the title page of the original edition of L.M. Montgomery’s novel Rilla of Ingleside, published by McClelland and Stewart in 1921. Courtesy of the Internet Archive.
  4. Detail from Virna Sheard’s poem “The Young Knights,” appearing in her book Carry On!, published by Warwick Bros. & Rutter in 1917. Courtesy of Canadiana.
  5. Detail from Virna Sheard’s poem “The Young Knights,” appearing in Canadian Poems of the Great War, edited by John W. Garvin and published by McClelland and Stewart in 1918. Courtesy of the Internet Archive.
  6. Detail from Virna Sheard’s poem “The Young Knights,” appearing in the Globe (Toronto) on 23 May 1916. Courtesy of the Globe and Mail digital archives.
  7. Detail from the title page of the handwritten manuscript of L.M. Montgomery’s novel Rilla of Ingleside, written in 1919 and 1920. Courtesy of Archival and Special Collections, University of Guelph Library.

Bibliography

Montgomery, L.M. L.M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals: The Ontario Years, 1918–1921. Edited by Jen Rubio. N.p.: Rock’s Mills Press, 2017.

—. “Rilla of Ingleside.” MS. XZ5 MS A004, L.M. Montgomery Collection, Archival and Special Collections, University of Guelph Library.

—. Rilla of Ingleside. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1921. https://archive.org/details/rillaofingleside00mont_0/.

—. Rilla of Ingleside. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1921. https://archive.org/details/rillaingleside00montgoog.

Sheard, Virna. Carry On!, Toronto: Warwick Bros. & Rutter, 1917. https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.76272/8?r=0&s=1.

—. “The Young Knights.” Globe (Toronto), 23 May 1916, 4.

—. “The Young Knights.” In Canadian Poems of the Great War, edited by John W. Garvin, 219–20. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1918. https://archive.org/details/canadianpoemsofg00garv/page/218/mode/2up.

Wilmshurst, Rea. “L.M. Montgomery’s Use of Quotations and Allusions in the ‘Anne’ Books.” Canadian Children’s Literature / Littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse 56 (1989): 15–45. https://ccl-lcj.ca/index.php/ccl-lcj/article/view/2413.

Announcing Twice upon a Time

Placeholder cover for Twice upon a Time: Selected Stories, 1898–1939

I’m very proud to announce the forthcoming publication, in spring 2022, of Twice upon a Time: Selected Stories, 1898–1939, the third volume in The L.M. Montgomery Library, a collection of L.M. Montgomery’s short stories that reveals how she revised her periodical fiction for her books, including Anne of Green Gables and its ever-popular sequels.

Although L.M. Montgomery (1874–1942) is best remembered for the twenty-two book-length works of fiction that she published in her lifetime, from Anne of Green Gables (1908) to Anne of Ingleside (1939), she also contributed some five hundred short stories and serials to a wide range of North American and British periodicals from 1895 to 1940. While most of these stories demonstrate her ability to produce material that would fit the mainstream periodical fiction market as it evolved across almost half a century, many of them also contain early incarnations of characters, storylines, conversations, and settings that she would rework for inclusion in her novels and collections of linked short stories.

In Twice upon a Time, the third volume in The L.M. Montgomery Library, Benjamin Lefebvre collects and discusses over two dozen stories from across Montgomery’s career as a short fiction writer, many of them available in book form for the first time. The volume offers a rare glimpse into Montgomery’s creative process in adapting her periodical work for her books, which continue to fascinate readers all over the world.

Twice upon a Time is preceded by A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917 and A World of Songs: Selected Poems, 1894–1921, the first two volumes in this series, which you can order from your favourite bookseller or at a substantial discount from the University of Toronto Press website. This book has been in the works for several years, so it is with great anticipation on my part that it will be available soon to Montgomery’s worldwide readership. If you’d like to receive more information about this book as it becomes available—including the cover, preordering information, and some sneak previews—please subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box below and follow this website on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Four Days of Free Shipping from UTP!

I just received a notification email telling me that University of Toronto Press is offering free shipping, in Canada and the United States, on all its orders between now and the end of this Sunday, November 29. Since UTP has published a number of books by or about L.M. Montgomery over the years, and given that these books are substantially discounted on their website, this is the perfect time for readers to complete their collections!

Among the books available are the first two volumes of The L.M. Montgomery Library and the three volumes of The L.M. Montgomery Reader, which are still available in hardcover as well as the paperback editions released earlier this year. I was also pleased to see that paperback copies of Mary Quayle Innis’s The Clear Spirit: Twenty Canadian Women and Their Times (1966), which includes Elizabeth Waterston’s chapter on Montgomery that is widely acknowledged as the starting point of L.M. Montgomery studies, are still available.

A full list of titles is as follows:

I decided to take advantage of this sale myself, and I ordered two books that will certainly come in handy as I continue my work of preparing all of L.M. Montgomery’s short stories and poems for book publication: T.K. Pratt’s Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English (1996) and T.K. Pratt and Scott Burke’s Prince Edward Island Sayings (1998). I look forward to reading these!

Cover Reveal: The L.M. Montgomery Reader in Paperback!

Cover art for The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 1: A Life in Print Cover art for The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 2: A Critical Heritage Cover of The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 3: A Legacy in Review

I’m very pleased to announce the forthcoming publication, in paperback, of all three volumes of my award-winning critical anthology, The L.M. Montgomery Reader (Volume 1: A Life in Print; Volume 2: A Critical Heritage; Volume 3: A Legacy in Review) from University of Toronto Press. This project took up the bulk of my professional life over a five-year period, so I’m thrilled that all three volumes will be available in paperback soon.

Once again, the best way to order these books is from the University of Toronto Press website. Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3 are also available in hardcover and ebook formats.

The cover art features the covers of the first Canadian editions of Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Chronicles of Avonlea published by the Ryerson Press (Toronto) in 1942 and 1943; these copies are part of my personal collection.

Twenty Nineteen in Review

Last July, I blogged about three books that had just been published—Anne of Green Gables: The Original Manuscript, edited by Carolyn Strom Collins; a new edition of Imagining Anne: The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery, by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly; and L.M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals: The Ontario Years, 1930–1933, edited by Jen Rubio—as well as some journal articles and book chapters that had appeared in the first half of 2019. What I’d like to do now is highlight some of the remaining books, adaptations, and items of scholarship that have appeared during the last year, all of which demonstrate that there’s always something new to learn and appreciate about L.M. Montgomery.

There’s also been a lot of work going on behind the scenes here at L.M. Montgomery Online. As I mentioned in a blog post last September, I’ve been reorganizing and streamlining the information on this website to make it more manageable. When I started this website (as L.M. Montgomery Research Group) back in 2007, I wanted to showcase all contributors to L.M. Montgomery studies, and accordingly, I created stand-alone pages for every author, every periodical, every major book, and every actor in a screen adaptation of Montgomery’s work. As a result, this website became so large that I couldn’t make back-ups of it anymore, so this year I decided to eliminate pages for periodicals and to list actors, writers, and directors of screen adaptations on single pages (in the case of actors, listed alphabetically by surname with one page for each letter of the alphabet). Doing so has brought the website down to a more reasonable size, which has enabled me to start featuring lists of Montgomery’s periodical pieces.

Cover art for A WORLD OF SONGS: SELECTED POEMS, 1894–1921, by L.M. Montgomery, edited by Benjamin Lefebvre

I mention all this to explain why it’s taken me this long to announce formally on this blog the publication of A World of Songs: Selected Poems, 1894–1921, the second volume in The L.M. Montgomery Library, which University of Toronto Press published last January. I wanted to wait until I’d finished the overhaul of my lists of Montgomery’s periodical pieces, and that ended up taking much longer than I’d anticipated (and I still haven’t finished adding all the essays by Montgomery that appear in Volume 1 of The L.M. Montgomery Reader). Users of this website can now browse lists of items whose full texts appear in my books—poems by title, by date, and by first line; miscellaneous pieces by date; an index of periodical titles; and a list of Montgomery’s alternate signatures—with more items to be added as new volumes are published.

A World of Songs consists of a selection of fifty poems—roughly 10% of Montgomery’s total output—published over a quarter of a century, starting when she was a student at Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown. In my afterword, I talk about Montgomery’s poems in terms of “the competing forces of literary reputation, reader recognition, financial profit, and enduring literary quality” and attempt to position this work against poems by some of her contemporaries, including Duncan Campbell Scott, Bliss Carman, and Isabella Valancy Crawford. It’s meant to be a companion of sorts to The Blythes Are Quoted, which features forty-one of Montgomery’s poems, most of which were first published in magazines from 1919 onward. It will be followed by a much larger volume of all of Montgomery’s poems, something that I’ve been working on for several years already.

Although several new trade editions of Montgomery’s books appeared in 2019, the year was also notable for the appearance of three new biographies of Montgomery, two of them for very young readers. In 2018, María Isabel Sánchez Vegara published a picture-b0ok biography for the Little People, Big Dreams series (whose books tell the story of several prominent women, including Frida Kahlo, Ella Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and Marie Curie). This past August, Sánchez Vegara published Lucy Maud: My First L.M. Montgomery, a board-book version of her biography with a simplified text in order to “introduce your baby to Canada’s favorite author.” (I especially appreciated an image showing Montgomery’s newspaper column, signed Cynthia, which I collected last year in A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917.) Sarah Howden also published a short biography for HarperCollins’s I Can Read! series, whereas a revised edition of Stan Sauerwein’s 2004 biography for the Amazing Stories series appeared as Lucy Maud Montgomery: Canada’s Literary Treasure, published by Formac Publishing Company.

Also for young children are two more volumes in Kelly Hill’s series of Anne-related concept books from Tundra Books: Anne’s Feelings and Anne’s Alphabet, which follow Anne’s Colors and Anne’s Letters from 2018. Also from Tundra this past year is Kallie George’s Anne’s Kindred Spirits, a second abridgement for children of Anne of Green Gables, following 2018’s Anne Arrives, republished in paperback in 2019.

In terms of scholarship, December 2019 saw the publication of Wendy Roy’s book-length study The Next Instalment: Serials, Sequels, and Adaptations of Nellie L. McClung, L.M. Montgomery, and Mazo de la Roche, published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Roy’s book promises to become a major contribution to the field, not only because it focuses on the largely unexplored topic of serial publication, but also because it places Montgomery firmly alongside two of her contemporaries within Canadian literary studies.

Here’s a list of journal articles, book chapters, and reviews on L.M. Montgomery’s work that were published in 2019 (including a trio of articles on Swedish translations in Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research), in addition to those I mentioned in my blog post from last July:

  • Holly Blackford, “Unattached Women Raising Cain: Spinsters Touching Orphans in Anne of Green Gables and Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” in South: A Scholarly Journal
  • Claire Campbell, review of L.M. Montgomery and the Matter of Nature(s), in American Review of Canadian Studies
  • Frederika A. Eilers, “Making Green Gables Anne’s Home: Rural Landscapes and Ordinary Homes of Canadian Fiction and Film,” in Our Rural Selves: Memory and the Visual in Canadian Childhoods
  • Faye Hammill, review of A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917, in Times Literary Supplement
  • Victoria Kennedy, “Haunted by the Lady Novelist: Metafictional Anxieties about Women’s Writing from Northanger Abbey to The Carrie Diaries,” in Women: A Cultural Review
  • Andrea McKenzie, review of L.M. Montgomery and the Matter of Nature(s), in The Lion and the Unicorn
  • Claudia Mills, “Trying to Be Good (with Bad Results): The WouldbegoodsBetsy-Tacy and Tib, and Ivy and Bean: Bound to Be Bad,” in Children’s Literature
  • David Myles, “‘Anne Goes Rogue for Abortion Rights!’: Hashtag Feminism and the Polyphonic Nature of Activist Discourse,” in New Media and Society
  • Cornelia Rémi, “From Green Gables to Grönkulla: The Metamorphoses of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and Its Various Swedish Translations,” in Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research
  • Jennifer Scott, review of A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917, in Victorian Periodicals Review
  • Åsa Warnqvist, “‘Don’t Be Too Upset with Your Unchivalrous Publisher’: Translator–Publisher Interactions in the Swedish Translations of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne and Emily Books,” in Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research

The 2018 annual volume of The Shining Scroll, the official publication of the L.M. Montgomery Literary Society (Minnesota), appeared early in 2019, featuring articles and news by Mary Beth Cavert, Carolyn Strom Collins, and Sandra Wagner. Be sure to download this newsletter if you don’t know it already. I look forward to reading the 2019 edition!

Twenty nineteen was also the year that the third—and ultimately the last—season of Anne with an “E” aired on CBC television. I was really disappointed to learn of the series’ cancellation, not only because I thought the show overall was excellent, but also because of the point at which it stops. The third season was released worldwide (except Canada) on Netflix just last Friday, so I don’t want to go into too much detail for viewers who haven’t finished it yet, but I was disappointed by what the networks decided was a suitable way to end a young woman’s story, given that the creators evidently hadn’t intended to end the story there. In spite of a petition and a flurry of positive responses on social media, it looks unlikely at this point that the series will be continued beyond the twenty-seven episodes already produced, which is a real shame. Although the television series departed in many ways from the book, it clearly struck a chord with viewers all over the world, much like how readers have responded to Montgomery’s writing for more than a century.

As for me, 2019 has been a busy year in terms of future volumes of The L.M. Montgomery Library. After completing the bulk of the work on the first of several chronological volumes of Montgomery’s short stories, I ended up deciding, in consultation with my editor, to move a few things around and to present this aspect of her work in a new way, with the result that I’ve spent six months working on three volumes simultaneously. One reason this has taken longer than anticipated is that I’ve been searching for a multi-chapter serial entitled “The Luck of the Tremaynes,” which Montgomery published in the January and February 1907 issues of The American Home of Waterville, Maine. I’ve searched through every digital repository I can think of and contacted libraries, collectors, and booksellers, and so far I haven’t had any luck. (I’ve come close a few times, though—a microfilm that claimed to have the full run of the issue ended at 1906, whereas copies of other 1907 issues are currently available on eBay.) In the off chance that you have a copy or have a suggestion of someone who might, please contact me. In the meantime, watch this space for news about future volumes in the series!

I guess that’s it. I look forward to seeing what 2020 will bring!

Revisiting Anne and Montgomery

Three new books released this month invite readers to revisit the story of Anne of Green Gables and the life story L.M. Montgomery prepared for posthumous publication in the form of ten handwritten volumes of journals. All three books are the result of careful dedication on the part of volume editors whose painstaking attention to detail has made rare archival material come alive for Montgomery’s worldwide readership.

Cover art for ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT

First, Halifax publisher Nimbus Publishing has released Anne of Green Gables: The Original Manuscript, edited by Carolyn Strom Collins. This book consists of a transcription of the handwritten manuscript of Anne of Green Gables that showcases for the first time Montgomery’s creative process and elaborate revision system. It also includes, as an appendix, a gallery of rare covers of translated editions of the novel. Past scholarship has turned to the manuscript of Anne of Green Gables to study part of the writing process of the novel—revealing such details as the fact that Montgomery considered “Laura” and “Gertrude” as the names of Anne’s bosom friend before settling on “Diana”—but this book marks the first time readers will be able to see that creative process for themselves.

Anne of Green Gables: The Original Manuscript will be launched at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown on 1 August 2019.

Cover art for Imagining Anne: The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery

Also from Nimbus Publishing is a paperback edition of Elizabeth Rollins Epperly’s Imagining Anne: The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery, first published in hardcover in 2008 as part of Penguin Canada’s 100 Years of Anne celebration. This book features beautiful reproductions of key pages from two of Montgomery’s PEI scrapbooks on which she pasted a wide range of ephemera in order to create a visual archive for her creative process. In her commentary, Epperly suggests linkages between the individual items, the stories they tell in Montgomery’s arrangement of them on the page, and the way that they inspired key moments in Anne of Green Gables. As the back cover rightly proclaims, this book offers readers “a revealing look inside the mind of one of the most cherished writers of the twentieth century.”

The new edition of Imagining Anne will be launched at UPEI’s Robertson Library in Charlottetown on 25 July 2019.

Cover art for L.M. Montgomery's Complete Journals: The Ontario Years, 1930-1933

Finally, Rock’s Mills Press has published L.M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals: The Ontario Years, 1930–1933, the fifth volume of Montgomery’s unabridged Ontario journals prepared by Jen Rubio. This volume contains all diary entries dated 1930 to 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, at which point Montgomery and her family were living in Norval, Ontario. These were difficult years for her, especially due to a revelation made by one of her sons that distressed her so much that she was unable to write full diary entries for almost three years. Like Epperly’s Imagining Anne, this book offers readers “a revealing look inside the mind of one of the most cherished writers of the twentieth century,” but for very different reasons—it showcases the private anguish of a woman who, acutely aware of societal expectations, turned to her journal as a safe outlet for her worries and secrets, but her increased awareness of these journals as a document that she wanted to be published after her death also constrained her ability to be completely honest in this record of her life.

In addition to these three books, a number of recent journal articles and book chapters have been pushing the conversation about Montgomery’s life, work, and legacy in exciting new ways:

  • Elizabeth Rollins Epperly, “Reading Time: L.M. Montgomery and the ‘Alembic of Fiction’” (in Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies)
  • Irene Gammel, “‘We Are the Dead’: Rhetoric, Community and the Making of John McCrae’s Iconic War Poem” (in First World War Studies)
  • Caroline E. Jones, “Idylls of Play: L.M. Montgomery’s Child-Worlds” (in Children’s Play in Literature: Investigating the Strengths and the Subversions of the Playing Child)
  • Vappu Kannas, “‘Emily Equals Childhood and Youth and First Love’: Finnish Readers and L.M. Montgomery’s Anne and Emily Books” (in Reading Today)
  • Laura Leden, “Girls’ Classics and Constraints in Translation: A Case Study of Purifying Adaptation in the Swedish Translation of L.M. Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon” (in Barnboken)
  • Jane Nicholas, “The Children’s Séance: Child Death, the Body, and Grief in Interwar Ontario” (in The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth)
  • Christopher Parkes, “Anne Is Angry: Female Beauty and the Transformative Power of Cruelty in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables” (in Cruel Children in Popular Texts and Cultures)
  • Julie A. Sellers, “‘A Good Imagination Gone Wrong’: Reading Anne of Green Gables as a Quixotic Novel” (in Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies)
  • Rob Shields, “Lifelong Sorrow: Settler Affect, State and Trauma at Anne of Green Gables” (in Settler Colonial Studies)
  • Emily Stokes-Rees, “Re-thinking Anne: Representing Japanese Culture at a Quintessentially Canadian Site” (in Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change)
  • Janet Wesselius, “Anne’s Body Has a Mind (and Soul) of Its Own: Embodiment and the Cartesian Legacy in Anne of Green Gables” (in The Embodied Child: Readings in Children’s Literature and Culture)

March Madness Sale at UTP!

UPDATE: This sale has been extended until April 7!

I’ve fallen woefully behind on my blog posts, but here’s one that simply can’t wait any longer. I found out earlier this week that University of Toronto Press is having a March Madness Sale, which means that several L.M. Montgomery books are 50% off for the rest of the month!

My three-volume collection The L.M. Montgomery Reader, which won the 2016 PROSE Award for Literature from the Association of American Publishers, is available for $60 for the entire set, whereas Volume 1: A Life in Print, Volume 2: A Critical Heritage, and Volume 3: A Legacy in Review are available individually for $29, which is a 50% discount. Anne’s World: A New Century of Anne of Green Gables, a collection of essays I edited in collaboration with Irene Gammel, is also available at a 50% discount.

Additional books are also available at discounts of 40% to 60%: Elizabeth Rollins Epperly’s book-length studies The Fragrance of Sweet-Grass: L.M. Montgomery’s Heroines and the Pursuit of Romance and Through Lover’s Lane: L.M. Montgomery’s Photography and Visual Imagination, Gammel’s collections of essays Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture and The Intimate Life of L.M. Montgomery, Gammel and Epperly’s collection of essays L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture, and Hildi Froese Tiessen and Paul Gerard Tiessen’s After Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery’s Letters to Ephraim Weber, 1916–1941.

This sale runs till the end of March, and University of Toronto Press ships worldwide. Complete your Montgomery collection today!

And while you’re at it, you can also pick up copies of my latest books: A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917 and A World of Songs: Selected Poems, 1894–1921.

The Blythes Are Quoted: Penguin Modern Classics Edition Now Available

Cover art for The Blythes Are Quoted: Penguin Modern Classics Edition

Happy book birthday to the Penguin Modern Classics Edition of L.M. Montgomery’s rediscovered final book, The Blythes Are Quoted! Completed by Montgomery shortly before her death in 1942 as a final sequel to Anne of Green Gables and first published in its entirety in 2009, this book features a blend of short fiction, poetry, and vignettes that shows the contrast between the dynamics between Anne and her family members and how they’re perceived by outsiders. Divided in two parts, one set before and one after the Great War of 1914–1918, the book consists of Montgomery’s final word about a number of preoccupations in her earlier books, including war, family, romance, and childhood.

This edition includes the full text of the 2009 edition, along with an updated introduction and suggestions for further reading by me and an updated afterword by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly. It is available primarily across Canada, but it can be ordered through Amazon.ca and Chapters.Indigo.ca, both of which ship worldwide.

“[T]his re-acquaintance with the voice of L.M. Montgomery is marvellously satisfying. . . . Lefebvre’s patient and meticulous scholarship has resulted in this fascinating volume, a gift to insatiable followers of Anne Shirley’s story.”
Aritha van Herk, The Globe and Mail

Three New Books This Month and Three More Coming Soon

Three exciting new L.M. Montgomery-related books have been published throughout the month of May, with three more appearing shortly. Together, these six books showcase the wide reach of Montgomery’s literary and cultural legacy more than seventy-five years after her death.
Cover art for L.M. Montgomery and the Matter of Nature(s)L.M. Montgomery's Complete Journals: The Ontario Years, 1922-1925

Cover art for House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery, by Liz RosenbergCover art for The Diary of Charles Macneill, Farmer, 1892–1896Cover art for The Blythes Are Quoted: Penguin Modern Classics Edition
Coming up in June is Liz Rosenberg’s middle-grade biography, House of Dreams: The L.M. Montgomery (Candlewick Press), as well as The Diary of Charles Macneill, Farmer, 1892–1896 (Rock’s Mills Press), the full text of a diary by a distant relative of L.M. Montgomery that she transcribed in full and commented on extensively in her own journal in 1925, with a preface by Jen Rubio. Finally, in early July, Penguin Canada will publish a new Penguin Modern Classics Edition of Montgomery’s rediscovered final book, The Blythes Are Quoted, with a revised introduction by Benjamin Lefebvre and a revised afterword by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly.

Sneak Preview: Cover of Complete Journals 1922–1925

Jen Rubio, publisher at Rock’s Mills Press and editor of several new volumes of L.M. Montgomery’s complete journals, released a sneak preview over Twitter this morning of the cover of the next volume, covering the years 1922 to 1925.

The book is expected out sometime this spring. I will post more details as soon as they’re released.