A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917

Cover of A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917, consisting of a photo of a vintage typewriter sitting on a surface in front of retro wallpaper of green and orange flowers.

A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917 is a collection of miscellaneous pieces by L.M. Montgomery that is edited by Benjamin Lefebvre. It includes the full text of a number of rarely seen items, including her earliest non-fiction publications, a newspaper column that she wrote for nine months while working at the Halifax Daily Echo, a story written by “J.C. Neville” that she pasted in her scrapbooks without claiming it as hers, and a restored edition of her celebrity memoir, “The Alpine Path: The Story of My Career.” These items are supplemented by an afterword that places Montgomery’s career within the context of English-speaking women authors in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as well as a preface, headnotes, and notes that provide literary and cultural context. The book was published by University of Toronto Press as a trade paperback and an unjacketed hardcover in November 2018.

A Name for Herself was first announced under the title Becoming L.M. Montgomery. It is dedicated to the memory of Montgomery researcher Christy Woster (1955–2016). It is the first volume in The L.M. Montgomery Library and is followed by A World of Songs: Selected Poems, 1894–1921 and Twice upon a Time: Selected Stories, 1898–1939, with several more volumes in progress.

Montgomery, L.M. A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917. Edited by Benjamin Lefebvre. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018. The L.M. Montgomery Library.

“A Note on the Author,” preface, “A Note on the Text,” headnotes, afterword, and notes by Benjamin Lefebvre

5.5” x 8.5”, xxvi + 454 pp., 978-1-4875-0403-8 (trade paperback), 978-1-4875-2308-4 (unjacketed hardcover),


Years before she published her internationally celebrated first novel, Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery (1874–1942) started contributing short works to periodicals across North America. While these works consisted primarily of poems and short stories, she also experimented with a wider range of forms, particularly during the early years of her career, at which point she experimented with several authorial identities before settling on the professional moniker “L.M. Montgomery.”

A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917 is the first in a series of volumes collecting Montgomery’s extensive contributions to periodicals. Leading Montgomery scholar Benjamin Lefebvre discusses these so-called miscellaneous pieces in relation to the works of English-speaking women writers who preceded her and the strategies they used to succeed, including the decision to publish under gender-neutral signatures. Among the highlights of the volume are Montgomery’s contributions to student periodicals, a weekly newspaper column entitled “Around the Table,” a long-lost story narrated first by a woman trapped in an unhappy marriage and then by the man she wishes she had married instead, and a new edition of her 1917 celebrity memoir, “The Alpine Path.” Drawing fascinating links to Montgomery’s life writing, career, and fiction, this volume will offer scholars and readers alike an intriguing new look at the work of Canada’s most enduringly popular author.


List of Illustrations (vii–viii)

Acknowledgments (ix–x)

A Note on the Author (xi–xii)

Abbreviations (xiii–xiv)

Preface (xv–xxiv)

A Note on the Text (xxv–xxvi)

Part 1: Early and Student Publications

The Wreck of the “Marco Polo” (5–10)

A Western Eden (11–16)

From Prince Albert to P.E. Island (17–26)

The Usual Way (27–31)

Extracts from the Diary of a Second Class Mouse (32–34)

High School Life in Saskatchewan (35–37)

Valedictory (38–40)

“Portia”—A Study (41–43)

“Which Has the Most Patience under the Ordinary Cares and Trials of Life—Man or Woman?” (44–46)

Crooked Answers (47–49)

The Bad Boy of Blanktown School (50–53)

James Henry, Truant (54–57)

A Girl’s Place at Dalhousie College (58–67)

Gleanings from Our Mail Bag (68)

Part 2: Maud Montgomery, Newspaper Woman

A Half-Hour in an Old Cemetery (71–73)

Around the Table (75–191)

Half an Hour with Canadian Mothers (192–202)

Christmas Shopping in Halifax Stores (203–13)

Many Admiring Glances Bestowed upon Graduates (214–17)

Netted Doily (218–19)

Innocent Irreverence (220)

Part 3: The Upward Climb to Heights Sublime

Two Sides of a Life Story (223–30)

The Alpine Path: The Story of My Career (231–311)

Afterword (313–40)

Notes (341–420)

Bibliography (421–37)

Index (439–54)


“Outstanding scholarship! Few scholars are in the same league as Benjamin Lefebvre. This volume adds to the scholarship on Montgomery’s life and publications with extensive research tracking down the material Montgomery alluded to in her journals and included in clippings in her scrapbooks.”
Lesley Clement, Department of English, Lakehead University

“Including rare travel narratives, personal essays, and newspaper columns written by L.M. Montgomery, Benjamin Lefebvre’s book sheds light on the wide range of styles apparent in Montgomery’s work, while also contextualizing these texts within the world of Canadian women’s writing at this period.”
Margaret Steffler, Department of English Literature, Trent University

“In this first volume of ‘The L.M. Montgomery Library,’ Benjamin Lefebvre collects and expertly annotates Montgomery’s non-fiction periodical writing, presenting it as a record of her literary apprenticeship. . . . The thirty-five instalments of her column ‘Around the Table,’ signed ‘Cynthia,’ are enthralling, . . . and A Name for Herself is worth the cover price for these pieces alone.”
Faye Hammill, Times Literary Supplement

“Lefebvre, one of the top Montgomery scholars in the world, has painstakingly collected these scattered publications from throughout Montgomery’s career to provide a valuable resource. . . . By including Montgomery’s contributions to these publications, many of which were fleeting, Lefebvre enriches our knowledge of the periodical landscape in North America and demonstrates how these magazines and newspapers were important vehicles for women authors in Canada and the United States.”
Jennifer Scott, Victorian Periodicals Review


Times Literary Supplement (London), 12 April 2019, 30 (Faye Hammill, “Apprenticeship”).

Victorian Periodicals Review 52, no. 3 (Fall 2019): 646–48 (Jennifer Scott).

Canadian Literature 241 (2020): 158–59 (Ceilidh Hart, “Collecting the Unknown Montgomery”).

University of Toronto Quarterly 89, no. 3 (Summer 2020): 541–42 (Rita Bode).