The publication of The Watchman and Other Poems in November 1916 marked a number of changes in L.M. Montgomery’s career as a published author. Earlier that year, Montgomery had made the difficult decision to leave her exploitative first publisher, L.C. Page and Company, and move to the firm of McClelland, Goodchild and Stewart (now McClelland and Stewart), which then appointed the Frederick A. Stokes Company as her American publisher. This ad in the Toronto Globe called it “one of the choicest books of the year, 168 pages of beautiful poems of rare quality, delicate, lilting and full of music.”
I know it looks like I’ve been a bit neglectful this week of my promise to post every single day a review of or an ad for one of Montgomery’s books (the focus of Volume 3 of The L.M. Montgomery Reader, available late this December). In truth, I’ve become really busy with the end-of-year crunch, but there’s also a method to my madness, since what I planned to show next was an overall marketing strategy for L.M. Montgomery. In the second half of December 1921, Montgomery’s Canadian publisher, McClelland and Stewart, placed—in the Toronto Globe and the Toronto Daily Star—several different ads for Rilla of Ingleside, always prominently at the top of a page, as a way to promote it as a choice title for the holiday season. What’s especially noteworthy is that while Rilla is now celebrated as one of the only near-contemporaneous Canadian novels about women at the homefront during the First World War, the war is barely mentioned in this campaign.
Each image zooms in when you click on it, and you can also go through all of them as a slide show.
First, the Toronto Daily Star published this ad, complete with reviewers’ quotes, on 12 December:
Second, in the Globe, on 15 December:
An almost identical ad appeared the next day, on 16 December, in the Toronto Daily Star:
Third, in the Globe, on 16 December:
Fourth, in the Globe, on 17 December:
This one, too, appeared in the Toronto Daily Star, three days later:
Fifth, in the Toronto Daily Star, on 19 December, advertising Rilla of Ingleside alongside Marian Keith’s novel Little Miss Melody (Montgomery and Keith would eventually collaborate, along with Mabel Burns McKinley, on the volume of essays Courageous Women, published in 1934):
Sixth, the Globe, on 20 December:
Seventh, a similar ad in the Toronto Daily Star, on 21 December:
Eighth, in the Globe, on 21 December:
Stay tuned next week, when I start posting extracts from reviews that were less than enthusiastic about Montgomery’s writing—starting with the earliest known review of Anne of Green Gables.
McClelland & Stewart has released artwork for its reissue of the New Canadian Library edition of Emily of New Moon, due out on 4 December 2007!
This edition will precede the NCL reissue of Anne of Green Gables, due out in late January 2008.
McClelland and Stewart will reissue its New Canadian Library edition of Anne of Green Gables early in 2008. This edition, first published in 1992, includes an afterword by Margaret Atwood. Here are the covers for both the current edition and the new one. Their NCL edition of Emily of New Moon (with an afterword by Alice Munro, first published in 1989) will likewise be reissued, in late 2007, but the new cover is not yet available.