By L.M. Montgomery
Edited and with an Afterword by Benjamin Lefebvre
Foreword by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly
Toronto: Viking Canada, 2009. xv + 527 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-670-06391-8 (hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0-14-317241-3 (paperback)
Rights Sold: World
The Blythes Are Quoted is the last work of fiction by the internationally celebrated author of Anne of Green Gables. Intended by L.M. Montgomery to be the ninth volume in her bestselling series featuring her beloved heroine Anne – and delivered to her publisher on the very day she died – it has never before been published in its entirety.
This rediscovered volume marks the final word of a writer whose work continues to fascinate readers all over the world.
Adultery, illegitimacy, revenge, murder, and death—these are not the first terms we associate with L.M. Montgomery. But in The Blythes Are Quoted, completed at the end of her life, the author brings topics such as these to the fore.
Intended by Montgomery to be the ninth volume in her bestselling series featuring Anne Shirley Blythe, The Blythes Are Quoted takes Anne and her family a full two decades beyond anything else she published about them, and some of its subject matter is darker than we might expect.
Divided into two sections, one set before and one after the Great War of 1914–1918, it contains fifteen short stories set in and around the Blythes’ Prince Edward Island community of Glen St. Mary. Binding these stories are sketches featuring Anne and Gilbert Blythe discussing poems by Anne and their middle son, Walter, who dies as a soldier in the war. By blending together poetry, prose, and dialogue in this way, Montgomery was at the end of her career experimenting with storytelling methods in an entirely new manner.
This publication of Montgomery’s rediscovered original work—previously published only in severely abridged form as The Road to Yesterday—invites readers to return to her earlier books with a renewed appreciation and perspective.
Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in Clifton (now New London), Prince Edward Island, in 1874. A prolific writer, she published twenty novels and over a thousand short stories, essays, and poems, but she is best known for Anne of Green Gables and its sequels: Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley, and Rilla of Ingleside. To this list we can now add The Blythes Are Quoted. Montgomery died in Toronto in 1942 shortly after she completed The Blythes Are Quoted and is buried in her beloved Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.
Benjamin Lefebvre, Ph.D., lives in Waterloo, Ontario. He is director of the L.M. Montgomery Research Group and has published widely on L.M. Montgomery’s fiction and life writing. He has recently collaborated with Andrea McKenzie to edit a restored and unabridged edition of Montgomery’s novel Rilla of Ingleside, now available from Viking Canada.
Elizabeth Rollins Epperly, Ph.D., is professor emerita of English at the University of Prince Edward Island and the founding chair of the L.M. Montgomery Institute. An internationally recognized scholar, she is the author of numerous articles and books on Montgomery, the most recent being Imagining Anne: The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery.
Foreword by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly (ix–xiv)
The Piper (3)
Some Fools and a Saint (5–67)
Twilight at Ingleside (68–74)
I Wish You (70–71)
The Old Path Round the Shore (72–73)
Guest Room in the Country (74)
An Afternoon with Mr. Jenkins (75–87)
The Second Evening (88–95)
The New House (88–89)
Robin Vespers (90–91)
Man and Woman (94–95)
The Third Evening (114–17)
There Is a House I Love (114–15)
Sea Song (116–17)
The Twins Pretend (118–43)
The Fourth Evening (144–45)
To a Desired Friend (144–45)
Fancy’s Fool (146–69)
The Fifth Evening (170–75)
Midsummer Day (170–72)
A Dream Comes True (176–207)
The Sixth Evening (208–14)
Farewell to an Old Room (208–11)
The Haunted Room (212–13)
Song of Winter (214)
Penelope Struts Her Theories (215–52)
The Seventh Evening (253–59)
The Gate of Dream (256–57)
An Old Face (258–59)
The Reconciliation (260–66)
The Cheated Child (267–311)
Fool’s Errand (312–24)
The Pot and the Kettle (325–60)
Another Ingleside Twilight (365–78)
Come, Let Us Go (367–68)
A June Day (369–70)
Wind of Autumn (371–72)
The Wild Places (373–74)
For Its Own Sake (375)
The Change (376–77)
I Know (378)
Brother Beware (379–95)
The Second Evening (396–404)
The Wind (396–98)
The Bride Dreams (399–402)
May Song (403–4)
Here Comes the Bride (405–38)
The Third Evening (439–44)
The Parting Soul (439–40)
My House (441–42)
A Commonplace Woman (445–75)
The Fourth Evening (476–84)
Canadian Twilight (476–77)
Oh, We Will Walk with Spring Today (478–79)
The Room (482–84)
The Road to Yesterday (485–501)
Au Revoir (502–10)
I Want (502–4)
The Pilgrim (505–6)
Spring Song (507–8)
The Aftermath (509–10)
Afterword by Benjamin Lefebvre (511–20)
A Note on the Text (521–22)
“[T]his re-acquaintance with the voice of L.M. Montgomery is marvellously satisfying … Lefebvre’s patient and meticulous scholarship has resulted in this fascinating volume, a gift to insatiable followers of Anne Shirley’s story.” –Aritha van Herk, The Globe and Mail (Full review)
“These are not sunshine sketches of little town life so much as darkening narratives in which humans are up against their own weaknesses and fears, anxieties and delusions. This fine and respectful collection will sustain and enhance the Montgomery legacy, deservedly so.” –Noreen Golfman, Literary Review of Canada
“The individual stories and poems will be familiar to Montgomery fans, but when placed in the context of the frame narrative, in the sequence Montgomery intended, they take on new resonance … While most accessible to serious Anne devotees, The Blythes Are Quoted provides an excellent introduction to Montgomery’s talents as an author of short fiction and poetry.” –Catherine Tosenberger, Winnipeg Free Press (Full review)
“[A] valuable addition to the Montgomery canon … Anne devotees will welcome [this] glimpse into her later years, and most importantly, the rawness of the text offers insight into its author and her writing process.” –Kerry Clare, Quill & Quire (Full review)
“The Blythes Are Quoted is a wonderful discovery for fans and an important addition to L.M. Montgomery scholarship. Sixty-seven years after her death, the life and work of this beloved Canadian author continue to enchant and intrigue on many levels.” –Laurie Glenn Norris, Telegraph-Journal
“For readers who have grown up with Montgomery’s novels, The Blythes Are Quoted is a must?have. The last few stories, set in the years just prior to World War II, provide glimpses into the lives of the adult Blythe children. We see marriages come to fruition, and a new generation of children born. Most importantly, we get one last glimpse into the life of an iconic character – Anne.” –Caitlin Fehir, Belletrista: Celebrating Women Writers from Around the World (Full review)
“The Blythes Are Quoted … gathers together a series of short stories, similar in style to the Chronicles [of Avonlea] though often less lush and more confident in tone, some experimental vignettes concerning the Blythe family both circa the First World War and pending the Second, and some poems attributed to Anne (who found in adolescence an outlet for her wild imagination in writing) and Walter, the poet and war casualty of the Blythe sons: evidence that Anne’s world continued to intrigue Montgomery, also evidence of her awareness of and interest in developments in Canadian literature. –Gisèle M. Baxter, Canadian Literature
“[The Blythes Are Quoted] is a sad, powerful, fascinating and priceless restoration of the complete work that LMM originally intended. An absolute must have for any fan of Montgomery, and highly recommended to those new to her work.” –The Indextrious Reader (Full review)
Media and Publicity
“Editing L.M. Montgomery across the Scholarly/Trade Divide.” Paper presented at the Conference on Editorial Problems, University of Toronto, 23 October 2010.
Meet the Author, Main Library Auditorium, Kitchener Public Library (Kitchener, Ontario), 16 December 2009.
Book signing, Lucy Maud Montgomery Museum, Crawford’s Village Bakeshop (Norval, Ontario), 12 December 2009.
“Jane Urquhart on Lucy Maud Montgomery.” CBC Books, 19 November 2009.
Aggerholm, Barbara. “L.M. Montgomery’s Dark Last Work.” The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 24 October 2009, C3.
Renzetti, Elizabeth. “A Different Shirley [sic] and Gilbert.” The Globe and Mail, 24 October 2009, R12. Online as “A Different Anne and Gilbert.”
“Green Gables Tale Darkens in Final Book.” CBC News, 23 October 2009.
Lefebvre, Benjamin. “The Dark Side of L.M. Montgomery.” The Mark, 23 October 2009.
Lefebvre, Benjamin. “L.M. Montgomery and Her Publishers.” Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing, McMaster University/Queen’s University/University of Toronto Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, 2009.
Lefebvre, Benjamin. “‘That Abominable War!’ The Blythes Are Quoted and Thoughts on L.M. Montgomery’s Late Style.” In Storm and Dissonance: L.M. Montgomery and Conflict, edited by Jean Mitchell, 109–30. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008.
Finnish translation: Annan jäähyväiset [Anne’s Farewell], translated by Marja Helanen-Ahtola. Helsinki: Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö, September 2010
Polish edition: Ania z Wyspy Ksiecia Edwarda [Anne of Prince Edward Island], translated by Pawel Ciemniewski. Krókow: Wydawnictwo Literackie, May 2011
The Blythes Are Quoted at Penguin Random House Canada
The Blythes Are Quoted at L.M. Montgomery Online
The Blythes Are Quoted at Goodreads
The Blythes Are Quoted at 49th Shelf