I’m shocked to learn that Canadian feminist icon Doris Anderson passed away on the 2nd at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto. She was an influential editor for Chatelaine magazine from 1957 to 77.
I met & talked with her only once at her house at Mollie Gillen’s 90th birthday party in 1998.
Mollie often told me that because Doris asked her to write an article on LMM, Mollie started to read LMM’s books and that eventually Mollie located the now famous bunch of letters written by LMM to Mr Macmillan in Scotland.
“When she (Anderson) took it (Chatelaine) over, it had a circulation of 480,000. Within a decade it was being read by 1.8 million women–‘One of every three in Canada’ as she claims.” (Rebel daughter’s anger simmers by Allan Fotheringham. The Calgary Sunday Sun, Sept. 29, 1996)
So, Mollie’s article on LMM appeared in such a popular magazine and received high praise from the readers. Based on the short article, Mollie developed a biography of LMM, The Wheel of Things which was published in 1975.
I saw Doris at the LMM conference in 94 and learned that Doris was a friend of Adrian Clarkson (former Governor General) who is a fan of LMM and made a brilliant speech at the conference. The speech is published in Gammel and Epperly’s L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture (1999).
If Doris didn’t pay attention to LMM in the 70s, Mollie would not have thought about writing the biography, let alone reading LMM’s books. I learned a life of LMM through “The wheel of things”.
To me, as an enthusiast of LMM, I would like to thank Doris Anderson sincerely.