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Tag: Kilmeny of the Orchard

Review 17: Kilmeny of the Orchard

Kilmeny of the Orchard (L.C. Page and Company, 1910)L.M. Montgomery’s third novel, Kilmeny of the Orchard, is now one of her least-known books, and while reviewers did not see it as nearly as strong as Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea when it was published in spring 1910, they still offered it respectable praise. An article in the December 1910 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, a magazine published in Boston and New York, qualified that praise in what was one of the earliest sustained responses to Montgomery’s work. In “Lying Like Truth,” Margaret Sherwood attributed the phrase to a statement made about Daniel Defoe to refer to “the art of making the unreal, perhaps even the impossible, more evident than that which happens before your very eyes, because amazing improbabilities are told with such close attention to immediate detail that you can but believe; and, by the side of his fictitious tales, newspaper accounts of actual happenings seem, in their sketchy presentation, unreal and improbable.” Claiming that she had been “searching, among the novels of the last six months, for the truth that comes from close observation,” she offered the following analysis of Kilmeny of the Orchard as a successor to Anne of Green Gables:

It is partly a lessening of this quality of close study which makes Miss Montgomery’s Kilmeny less appealing than Anne of Green Gables. There was a distinctness about the former, an artistic truth in the portrait of the quaint child with individual fancies. This story is pretty and fanciful, in the green and gray setting of a Prince Edward Island orchard, but vagueness replaces the close rendering of real things, and, in spite of the poetic touch, the tale does not hold the reader. Only the genuine poet, one to whom the invisible is more real than the visible, dare write the story “all made up of the poet’s brain.”

Montgomery Ad 3: Kilmeny of the Orchard

This ad for Montgomery’s third book, Kilmeny of the Orchard, appeared in The Boston Globe in April 1910. Montgomery’s preceding two novels, Anne of Green Gables (released in June 1908) and Anne of Avonlea (released in September 1909), were still strong sellers, and so many ads continued to promote all three books—complete with updated records of sales and printings.

Ad for Kilmeny of the Orchard, published in The Boston Globe on 30 April 1910.

Montgomery Review 9: Kilmeny of the Orchard

Kilmeny of the Orchard (L.C. Page and Company, 1910)As will be seen, the plot is not particularly novel, but the charm and beauty of the story rest in its descriptive passages and in the manner in which it is told. It is one of those tales of the outdoors that are especially pleasing in summer – and, as all summer reading should be, it is not too long – merely a well-told, simple narrative of a little known part of the world and some delightful people. —The Washington Herald (Washington, DC)

Announcement: Una of the Garden

Una of the Garden (2009)Announcing the publication of Una of the Garden, a facsimile edition of a long-lost serial by L.M. Montgomery first published in in The Housekeeper in 1908–1909! Here is the official announcement from the L.M. Montgomery Institute:

2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of L.M. Montgomery’s third novel, Kilmeny of the Orchard. In celebration, the L.M. Montgomery Institute will release a facsimile edition of Una of the Garden, the story that evolved into the Kilmeny novel.

“Una of the Garden” was first published in serial format in The Housekeeper magazine in 1908–1909, but the scarcity of back issues of this magazine made Montgomery’s story inaccessible, until now. The facsimile edition booklet, reproduced from the holdings of the Ryrie-Campbell Collection at LMMI, offers a fascinating opportunity to experience Montgomery’s work within the context of the original magazine publication, including illustrations and advertisements. The booklet also provides insight about the transformation from the story to the novel.

Una of the Garden is edited by Donna J. Campbell and Simon Lloyd, with an introduction by Kate Macdonald Butler.

Proceeds from the sale of this publication will go directly to support the work of the L.M. Montgomery Institute.

Booklet Cost: $20 Canadian or US funds

Purchase Options:
~ L.M. Montgomery Institute General Store
(Available soon:    PayPal accepted.)

~ L.M. Montgomery Conference held in PEI in June 2010

~ Email contact:
(Cash, Money Order, or Canadian $ cheque accepted.)