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Collections of Letters

Collections of letters by L.M. Montgomery consist of two volumes of letters to Ephraim Weber and one volume of letters to G.B. MacMillan.

In chronological order: The Green Gables Letters from L.M. Montgomery to Ephraim Weber, 1905–1909 (1960) | My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. MacMillan from L.M. Montgomery (1980) | After Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery’s Letters to Ephraim Weber, 1916–1941 (2006)

Related pages: The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery (1985–2004) | The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery (2012–2013) | L.M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals (2016–)

The Green Gables Letters from L.M. Montgomery to Ephraim Weber, 1905–1909 (1960)

The Green Gables Letters from L.M. Montgomery to Ephraim Weber, 1905–1909 is a volume of selected letters from L.M. Montgomery to her longtime correspondent Ephraim Weber, written between 1905 and 1909. It was edited and introduced by Wilfrid Eggleston and published in January 1960 by The Ryerson Press. A second edition, with a new preface by the editor, was published by Borealis Press (Ottawa) in 1981, with a trade paperback edition following in 1997.

Citation: Montgomery, L.M. The Green Gables Letters from L.M. Montgomery to Ephraim Weber, 1905–1909. Edited by Wilfrid Eggleston. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1960.

Synopsis

An interesting sequence of letters, written by L.M. Montgomery early in the century, were found in 1956 among the papers of Ephraim Weber who was living in the West. Now lodged in the National Archives in Ottawa, the letters, reproduced here exactly as they were written, form a fascinating footnote to the history of Canadian letters.

These letters are of interest and importance not only because they were written during the years of gestation and birth and outstanding success of the book Anne of Green Gables, but also because they reveal a lively extrovert in an eminently healthy balance. This should prove an absorbing book, both to those adults who have nostalgic memories of “Anne,” and to writers who need encouragement in their struggle for literary recognition.

Contents

Preface to the Second Edition (v–ix) [1981 edition only]

Acknowledgements (n.pag.)

General Introduction (1–22)

The Letters (23–94)

Epilogue (95–102)

Excerpts (2)

Montgomery, L.M. “Anne and More.” In Sleds, Sleighs and Snow: A Canadian Christmas Carol, edited by Anne Tempelman-Kluit, 53–56. North Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 2005.

Montgomery, Lucy Maud. “1907: Prince Edward Island.” In Canada: A Portrait in Letters 1800–2000, by Charlotte Gray, 268–71. [Toronto]: Doubleday Canada, 2003.

Reviews (9)

Lethbridge (AB) Herald, 9 April 1960, 5 (Arthur S. Bourinot, “First Contribution to ‘Belles Lettres’ in Canada”).

Winnipeg Free Press, 9 April 1960, 30 (T.S., “Along the Road to Green Gables”).

Globe and Mail (Toronto), 30 April 1960, 21 (Dorothy Dumbrille, “Early Novelist’s Letters”).

The Atlantic Advocate (Fredericton), June 1960, 97 (D. Kermode Parr). 

Canadian Literature 5 (Summer 1960): 87–88 (R.E. Watters, “Letters from Avonlea”).

The Canadian Forum (Toronto), September 1960, 142 (S. Ross Beharriell). 

University of Toronto Quarterly 30, no. 4 (July 1961): 422 (John M. Robson). 

The Dalhousie Review 41, no. 3 (Autumn 1961): 429, 431 (Desmond Pacey).

Canadian Book Review Annual 1981, edited by Dean Tudor and Ann Tudor (Toronto: Simon and Pierre, 1983), 209 (Susan Patrick).

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My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. MacMillan from L.M. Montgomery (1980)

My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. MacMillan from L.M. Montgomery is a volume of selected letters from L.M. Montgomery to her longtime Scottish correspondent George Boyd MacMillan (to whom she had dedicated Emily of New Moon), written between 1903 and 1941. It was edited and introduced by Francis W.P. Bolger and Elizabeth R. Epperly and published in 1980 by McGraw-Hill Ryerson. A trade paperback edition, with a new preface by the editors, was published by Oxford University Press in 1992.

Citation: Montgomery, L.M. My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. MacMillan from L.M. Montgomery. Edited by Francis W.P. Bolger and Elizabeth R. Epperly. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1980.

Synopsis

Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the ever-popular Anne of Green Gables, was a keen letter-writer. Her letters to George Boyd MacMillan over their thirty-nine-year friendship show the full range of her interests, from domestic concerns, her cats and gardening, to her professional literary career as best-selling author.

She shares with MacMillan the joys and burdens of her life. She is proud of her two sons and is excited by new inventions such as motor cars and the talkies. At the same time, she is saddened by the encroachment of “progress” on her idyllic, rural Prince Edward Island. She agonizes over the campaigns of the two World Wars and never recovers completely from the death of her closest friend.

During her friendship with MacMillan, L.M. Montgomery changes from a confident and cheerful young woman to a disillusioned but courageous old woman. After her retirement to “Journey’s End” in Toronto, distraught by family problems and depressed by the Second World War, her health and spirits fail.

These letters will delight all readers of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books. They reveal the character of one [of] our best-known authors; charming, witty, sometimes gloomy and morbid, she was above all stimulating.

Contents

Preface (v–vi) [1992 edition]

Acknowledgements (vi) [1980 edition]

Introduction (vii–x)

Acknowledgements (x) [1992 edition]

The Years Before the Correspondence (xi–xii)

The Island Years (Letters from 1903 to 1911) (1–62)

The Leaskdale Letters (Letters from 1912 to 1925) (63–122)

The Norval Letters (Letters from 1926 to 1935) (123–72)

“Journey’s End” (Letters from 1936 to 1941) (173–204)

Epilogue (205)

Index (206–12)

Reviews (10)

Vancouver Sun, 14 November 1980, L40 (C. Dino Mini, “A Frank Exchange”).

Quill and Quire (Toronto), January 1981, 27 (Jean Johnston).

Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal / Journal d’études sur la femme 7, no. 1 (Fall 1981): 144–46 (Susannah Joyce-Jones). https://journals.msvu.ca/index.php/atlantis/article/view/4640.

Canadian Literature 90 (Autumn 1981): 141–43 (Muriel Whitaker, “Literary Pen-Pals”).

The Canadian Author and Bookman 56, no. 2 (Winter 1981): 27 (Bess Kaplan).

Chronicle-Herald (Halifax), 27 March 1992, B3 (Rod Currie, “Lucy Maud Told Almost All in Letters to Pen-Pal”). Guardian (Charlottetown), 3 April 1992. Ottawa Citizen, 2 May 1992, B6 (as “L.M. Montgomery through Her Letters”).

Edmonton Journal, 5 April 1992, D7 (Valerie Compton, “Lucy Maud’s Letters Dance Past Painful Aspects of Life”).

CM: A Reviewing Journal of Canadian Materials for Young People (Ottawa), September 1992, 219 (Val K. Lem). https://www.cmreviews.ca/cm/cmarchive/vol20no4/revmydearmrm.html.

Whig-Standard (Kingston, ON), 3 October 1992 (Francesca Esford, “Early Hopes Unfulfilled”).

Canadian Book Review Annual 1992, edited by Joyce M. Wilson (Toronto: CBRA, 1993), 64–65 (Lori A. Dunn).

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After Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery’s Letters to Ephraim Weber, 1916–1941 (2006)

After Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery’s Letters to Ephraim Weber, 1916–1941 is a collection of letters edited and introduced by Hildi Froese Tiessen and Paul Gerard Tiessen. Containing twenty-four letters by L.M. Montgomery and addressed to her Canadian correspondent Ephraim Weber between 1916 and 1941, it is a follow-up to The Green Gables Letters from L.M. Montgomery to Ephraim Weber, 1905–1909 (1960), edited by Wilfrid Eggleston. It was published simultaneously as an unjacketed hardcover and a trade paperback by University of Toronto Press in June 2006.

Citation: Montgomery, L.M. After Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery’s Letters to Ephraim Weber, 1916–1941. Edited by Hildi Froese Tiessen and Paul Gerard Tiessen. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006.

Synopsis

Ephraim Weber (1870–1956) was a struggling young writer when he began corresponding with L.M. Montgomery (1874–1942) in 1902, six years before she published her first novel. Weber’s initial letter was that of an admirer. Montgomery responded warmly, and the two quickly began a correspondence that became an intellectual mainstay for both of them over the following forty years. After Green Gables is a collection of letters sent by Montgomery to Weber between 1916 and 1941. This was the period of Montgomery’s greatest literary success, but privately she was deeply troubled by her unhappy marriage.

The letters reveal an intense dynamic between Montgomery and Weber, and cover, among other subjects, their strong differences of opinion on matters such as pacifism and war and their joint rejection of the effects of literary modernism. Drawing on Weber’s voluminous correspondence with other Canadian figures—particularly journalist Wilfrid Eggleston—editors Hildi Froese Tiessen and Paul Gerard Tiessen skilfully illuminate Weber’s interaction with Montgomery, especially in matters concerning literature and culture, religion and politics, and education and entertainment. The editors provide various readings of Weber, based on his aspirations as a writer, his active participation in the Canadian culture of his day (including his friendships with hometown schoolmate William Lyon Mackenzie King and community leader Leslie Staebler), and his heritage as a Mennonite.

Montgomery’s letters to a man committed to writing and to his country’s cultural development reveal her intellectual preoccupations and her personal hardships.

Contents

Acknowledgments (ix–xii)

Permissions (xiii)

Abbreviations (xiv–xv)

Photographs (xvi–xviii)

Introduction (3–52)

A Note on the Text (53–55)

The Letters (57–263)

Works Cited (265–68)

Index (269–88)

Reviews (6)

Reference and Research Book News, November 2006.

Canadian Book Review Annual 2006, edited by Joyce M. Wilson (Toronto: CBRA, 2007), 57–58 (Virginia Gillham).

British Journal of Canadian Studies 20, no. 2 (2007): 321–22 (Maureen Moran).

University of Toronto Quarterly 77, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 329–30 (Irene Gammel). https://doi.org/10.1353/utq.0.0104.

Canadian Literature 197 (Summer 2008): 190–92 (Benjamin Lefebvre, “The Performance Anxiety of L.M. Montgomery”).

Canadian Children’s Literature / Littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse 34, no. 2 (Fall 2008): 112–23 (E. Holly Pike, “Who Do We Think You Are?”). https://ccl-lcj.ca/index.php/ccl-lcj/article/view/4925.

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Published on 20 March 2024; last updated on 20 March 2024. Please contact the site owner with additions, corrections, questions, and suggestions.