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L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture

L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture is a collection of essays edited and introduced by Irene Gammel and Elizabeth Epperly. It contains original essays by Yoshiko Akamatsu, Roberta Buchanan, Diana Arlene Chlebek, Frank Davey, Ann Dutton, Owen Dudley Edwards, Irene Gammel, Jennifer H. Litster, Sasha Mullally, E. Holly Pike, Laura M. Robinson, Erika Rothwell, Mary Henley Rubio, Theodore F. Sheckels, and Elizabeth Waterston; reprinted pieces by Margaret Atwood, Carole Gerson, and Calvin Trillin; an interview with Sharon J. Hamilton by Dianne Hicks Morrow; a foreword by Adrienne Clarkson; and an epilogue by Deirdre Kessler. It was published as a jacketed hardcover by University of Toronto Press in June 1999.

Citation: Gammel, Irene, and Elizabeth Epperly, eds. L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999.

Format: Jacketed hardcover, 6” × 9”, xvii + 267 pp., 0-8020-4406-9

Publisher Listing:


Despite the enormous popularity of her books, particularly Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery’s role in the development of Canada’s national culture is not often discussed by literary historians. This is curious as some of Canada’s leading writers, including Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, and Jane Urquhart, have acknowledged their indebtedness to Montgomery’s fiction.

That scholars have not mined the “Canadianness” of Montgomery’s writing is redressed by this collection. It is the first systematic effort to investigate and explore Montgomery’s active engagement with Canadian nationalism and identity, including regionalism, canon formation, and Canadian-American cultural relations. It examines her work in relation to the many dramatic changes of her day, such as the women’s movement and the advent of new technologies; and it looks at the national and international consumption of Anne of Green Gables, in the form of both “high” culture and cultural tourism.

The wide range of contributors represent views from across disciplines and boundaries, including feminist, biographical, psychoanalytical, historical, and cultural approaches. The scholarly reflections are punctuated to great effect by creative pieces, personal reflections, and interviews.

This ground-breaking collection will appeal to all fans of Montgomery’s work and to students of Canadian letters. It places Montgomery and her work squarely in the mainstream of Canadian literary history, affirming her importance to our country’s cultural development.


Foreword / Adrienne Clarkson (ix–xii)

Acknowledgements (xiii–xv)

Abbreviations (xvii)

Introduction: L.M. Montgomery and the Shaping of Canadian Culture / Irene Gammel and Elizabeth Epperly (3–13)

Part 1. Montgomery and Canada: Romancing the Region, Constructing the Nation

Montgomery and Canadian Nationalism

1. “A Born Canadian”: The Bonds of Communal Identity in Anne of Green Gables and A Tangled Web / Laura M. Robinson (19–30)

2. The End of Canadian Innocence: L.M. Montgomery and the First World War / Owen Dudley Edwards and Jennifer H. Litster (31–46)

Romance and the Shaping of Canadian Culture

3. “Dragged at Anne’s Chariot Wheels”: The Triangle of Author, Publisher, and Fictional Character / Carole Gerson (49–63)

4. (Re)Producing Canadian Literature: L.M. Montgomery’s Emily Novels / E. Holly Pike (64–76)

5. Reflection Piece—The Poetry of L.M. Montgomery / Elizabeth Waterston (77–84)

Part 2. Montgomery and Canadian Culture: Negotiating Cultural Change

Religion, Education, and Technology

6. L.M. Montgomery: Scottish-Presbyterian Agency in Canadian Culture / Mary Henley Rubio (89–105)

7. Disciplining Development: L.M. Montgomery and Early Schooling / Irene Gammel and Ann Dutton (106–19)

8. “Daisy,” “Dodgie,” and “Lady Jane Grey Dort”: L.M. Montgomery and the Automobile / Sasha Mullally (120–30)

Motherhood, Family, and Feminism

9. Knitting Up the World: L.M. Montgomery and Maternal Feminism in Canada / Erika Rothwell (133–44)

10. The Canadian Family and Female Adolescent Development during the 1930s: Jane of Lantern Hill / Diana Arlene Chlebek (145–52)

11. Reflection Piece—“I Wrote Two Hours This Morning and Put Up Grape Juice in the Afternoon”: The Conflict between Woman and Writer in L.M. Montgomery’s Journals / Roberta Buchanan (153–58)

Part 3. Montgomery and Canadian Iconography: Consuming the Popular

Anne as Cultural Icon

12. The Hard-Won Power of Canadian Womanhood: Reading Anne of Green Gables Today / Frank Davey (163–82)

13. Anne in Hollywood: The Americanization of a Canadian Icon / Theodore F. Sheckels (183–91)

14. Reflection Piece—Anne Shirley and the Power of Literacy / Sharon J. Hamilton, Interviewed by Dianne Hicks Morrow (192–97)

Montgomery, Canada, and Cultural Tourism

15. Japanese Readings of Anne of Green Gables / Yoshiko Akamatsu (201–12)

16. Anne of Red Hair: What Do the Japanese See in Anne of Green Gables? / Calvin Trillin (213–21)

17. Reflection Piece—Revisiting Anne / Margaret Atwood (222–26)

Epilogue: L.M. Montgomery and the Creation of Prince Edward Island / Deirdre Kessler (229–34)

Works Cited (235–49)

Contributors (251–56)

Illustration Credits (257)

Index (259–67)

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