THE YEARS BEFORE "ANNE"
Francis W.P. Bolger
Volume 19 Number 4
This book is a reprint of a 1974 collection of letters, poems and stories written by L.M. Montgomery in the period before the publication of Anne of Green Gables, A brief epilogue outlines the events of her life after 1908, when Anne brought her international celebrity.
The emphasis of the book is an entirely respectful and uncritical account of Montgomery's dutiful life and wonderful talent. However, several of the entries would be of interest to Canadian historians, as well, for the light they shed on ordinary daily life in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, at the end of the last century. Montgomery's description of a train ride across Canada in 1891, for example, could appeal to many readers.
The genealogy of the families of Prince Edward Island that begins this book might deter some readers. The plethora of footnotes will distract some others. Those already familiar with Montgomery's fiction are less likely to be put off by her lush descriptive prose.
This is a book written by one real enthusiast to appeal to others. The close focus on Montgomery's biography will probably limit the number of more general readers. Teachers, however, should be aware of the book's wider potential.
Margaret Mackey, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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