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A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917

University of Toronto Press, 2018

Book One in The L.M. Montgomery Library

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.


“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 D. 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

Publishing History

Trade paperback, November 2018
Unjacketed hardcover, November 2018
Ebook, May 2019


Preface (xv–xxiv), “A Note on the Text” (xxv–xxvi), twenty-three headnotes (5,900 words), afterword (313–40), notes (341–420), index (439–54)


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)

To the Editor (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)


“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. . . . [He] 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

“As he did in the three-volume L.M. Montgomery Reader, Benjamin Lefebvre again shows himself to be a skilled and insightful editor. . . . [His] selections reveal Montgomery as a professional writer who deserves a strong and enduring presence in Canadian letters.”
—Rita Bode, University of Toronto Quarterly