Included in our edition of Rilla of Ingleside is a bonus section entitled “Canadian Women’s Poetry of the First World War,” which contains the full text of two rarely seen poems that, like the novel, focus on the women at home who watched husbands, sons, brothers, friends, and neighbours go off to fight overseas. L.M. Montgomery’s poem “Our Women” was first published in the collection of poems Canadian Poems of the Great War (1918). Also included in this anthology is a poem called “The Young Knights” by Montgomery’s Ontario contemporary, Virna Sheard, whose work is virtually unknown today. Montgomery selected the first stanza of Sheard’s poem as her epigraph to Rilla of Ingleside.
Ever read Rilla of Ingleside and wonder what is meant by “fruitatives,” “ANZACs,” “Banshee,” “battalion runner,” “Black Sunday,” or “cootie sarks”? Or what happened at the Battles of Aisne, Cambrai, Caporetto, Courcelette, Marne, or New Chapelle, or in the Canadian election of 1917? Or the role played in the First World War by Herbert Asquith, Sir Robert Borden, Sir Julian Byng, Constantine of Greece, Nicholas II, Sir Samuel Hughes, or Woodrow Wilson? The new edition of L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside includes a detailed glossary with over 330 entries, from literary allusions and cultural customs to significant dates, locations, and events related to the First World War.
The Blythes Are Quoted contains forty-one poems attributed to Anne Shirley Blythe and to her son Walter Blythe, who in Rilla of Ingleside goes off to fight in the Great War. Many of these poems were published in periodicals under Montgomery’s name from the early 1920s onward. One exception is “The Old Path Round the Shore,” which was first published much earlier, in a magazine called The Household Ledger, in 1903. “The Piper,” the first poem that appears in the book, was submitted by Montgomery to Saturday Night magazine three weeks before her death, and was published posthumously in the 2 May 1942 issue.
I’m pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of a new, restored edition of L.M. Montgomery’s First World War novel, Rilla of Ingleside, edited by Benjamin Lefebvre and Andrea McKenzie, which will be published on 26 October 2010 by Viking Canada.
First published in 1921, Rilla of Ingleside—originally written as the final sequel to Anne of Green Gables—is one of the only contemporary depictions in Canadian fiction of women on the home front during the First World War. Focusing on Rilla Blythe, the pretty and high-spirited youngest daughter of Anne Shirley, the novel paints a vivid and compelling picture of the women who battled to keep the home fires burning throughout those tumultuous years. Using her own wartime experience and imagination, Montgomery recreates the laughter and grief, poignancy and suspense, struggles and courage of Canadian women at war.
This special gift edition includes Montgomery’s complete, restored, and unabridged original text as well as a thoughtful introduction from the editors, a detailed glossary, maps of Europe during the war, and war poems by L.M. Montgomery and her contemporary Virna Sheard.
The publication of this edition of Rilla of Ingleside will coincide with the release in paperback of The Blythes Are Quoted by Penguin Canada.