Kilmeny of the Orchard

Kilmeny of the Orchard (L.C. Page and Company, 1910)

Kilmeny of the Orchard is L.M. Montgomery’s third book, first published in March 1910 by Boston publisher L.C. Page and Company. It was preceded by Anne of Avonlea (1909) and followed by The Story Girl (1911).

Although Montgomery had planned for The Story Girl to be her follow-up to Anne of Avonlea, it did not progress quickly enough for her publisher, who suggested that she shelve the book temporarily and expand a five-part serial, “Una of the Garden,” that had appeared in the Minneapolis magazine The Housekeeper between December 1908 and April 1909. Montgomery renamed the title protagonist, shifted the scene from a garden to an orchard, and expanded the story to book length. The story of schoolteacher Eric Marshall who falls in love with Kilmeny Gordon, a mute violinist with a tragic past, Kilmeny of the Orchard appeared only six months after Anne of Avonlea.


“Kilmeny looked up with a lovely grace,
But nae smile was seen on Kilmeny’s face;
As still was her look, and as still was her ee,
As the stillness that lay on the emerant lea,
Or the mist that sleeps on a waveless sea.
•       •       •       •       •       •       •       •       •       •       •
Such beauty bard may never declare,
For there was no pride nor passion there;
•       •       •       •       •       •       •       •       •       •       •
Her seymar was the lily flower,
And her cheek the moss-rose in the shower;
And her voice like a distant melodye
That floats along the twilight sea.”

The Queen’s Wake


To my cousin
Beatrice A. McIntyre
this book
is affectionately dedicated


I. The Thoughts of Youth

II. A Letter of Destiny

III. The Master of Lindsay School

IV. A Tea Table Conversation

V. A Phantom of Delight

VI. The Story of Kilmeny

VII. A Rose of Womanhood

VIII. At the Gate of Eden

IX. The Straight Simplicity of Eve

X. A Troubling of the Waters

XI. A Lover and His Lass

XII. A Prisoner of Love

XIII. A Sweeter Woman Ne’er Drew Breath

XIV. In Her Selfless Mood

XV. An Old, Unhappy, Far-off Thing

XVI. David Baker’s Opinion

XVII. A Broken Fetter

XVIII. Neil Gordon Solves His Own Problem

XIX. Victor from Vanquished Issues

Reviews of Kilmeny of the Orchard (29)

Boston Globe, 30 April 1910, 4 (“Charming Love Story with Unusual Heroine”).

Boston Globe, 7 May 1910, 11 (“Shock Gave Her Speech”).

Idaho Daily Statesman (Boise), 12 May 1910, 4.

Zion’s Herald (Boston), 1 June 1910, 692.

Boston Herald, 4 June 1910, 8.

The Christian Register (Boston), 9 June 1910, 631.

The Nation (New York), 9 June 1910, 587. Children’s Literature Review, edited by Gerard J. Senick (Detroit: Gale, 1985), 8: 135. The L.M. Montgomery Reader, 3: 85–86 (as “[Perpetual Fitness for Romance]”).

Globe (Toronto), 11 June 1910, 18.

Times-Dispatch (Richmond, VA), 13 June 1910, 7. The L.M. Montgomery Reader, 3: 86 (as “[A Vision of Springtime]”).

Saturday Night (Toronto), 18 June 1910, 7. The L.M. Montgomery Reader, 3: 86–87 (as “[An Idyll of Prince Edward Island]”).

Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City), 19 June 1910, Miscellaneous Section, 9 (“An Irish Novel”).

San Francisco Call, 19 June 1910, 15.

Washington (DC) Herald, 23 June 1910, 6. The L.M. Montgomery Reader, 3: 87–88 (as “[Some Delightful People]”).

Times Literary Supplement (London), 7 July 1910, 243. The L.M. Montgomery Reader, 3: 88 (as “[Happy in Setting and Plot]”).

The Living Age (New York), 9 July 1910, 126–27. The L.M. Montgomery Reader, 3: 88–89 (as “[Romantic as It Should Be]”).

The Atheneum (London), 30 July 1910, 122. Children’s Literature Review, edited by Gerard J. Senick (Detroit: Gale, 1985), 8: 135.

The Bookman (London), August 1910, 223. The L.M. Montgomery Reader, 3: 89 (as “[Not So Good, but Good Enough]”).

Vogue (New York), 15 August 1910, 43. The L.M. Montgomery Reader, 3: 89–90 (as “[The Charm of Naive Innocence]”).

The Independent (New York), 18 August 1910, 362–63. Children’s Literature Review, edited by Gerard J. Senick (Detroit: Gale, 1985), 8: 135 (excerpted). The L.M. Montgomery Reader, 3: 90 (as “[Wholesome as Bread and Milk]”).

The Canadian Magazine (Toronto), September 1910, 378–79.

The English Review (London), September 1910, 372–73. The L.M. Montgomery Reader, 3: 90–91 (as “[More for Sentimentalists Than Realists]”).

Spectator (London), 24 September 1910, 470.

The Defender (Boston), October–December 1910, 25.

Grand Rapids (MI) Press, 7 November 1910, 10.

Press (Christchurch, New Zealand), 19 November 1910, 7.

Otago Daily Times, 25 November 1910, 2.

Record of Christian Work (East Northfield, MA), December 1910, 880.

New York Observer, 15 December 1910, 774.

New York Observer, 29 December 1910, 842.