Ever read Rilla of Ingleside and wonder what is meant by “fruitatives,” “ANZACs,” “Banshee,” “battalion runner,” “Black Sunday,” or “cootie sarks”? Or what happened at the Battles of Aisne, Cambrai, Caporetto, Courcelette, Marne, or New Chapelle, or in the Canadian election of 1917? Or the role played in the First World War by Herbert Asquith, Sir Robert Borden, Sir Julian Byng, Constantine of Greece, Nicholas II, Sir Samuel Hughes, or Woodrow Wilson? The new edition of L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside includes a detailed glossary with over 330 entries, from literary allusions and cultural customs to significant dates, locations, and events related to the First World War.
A little while ago today I received from Penguin Canada advance copies of Rilla of Ingleside and of the paperback edition of The Blythes Are Quoted, both of which go on sale on October 26. They both look wonderful, and I can’t wait to hear the reactions and impressions of Montgomery’s devoted readers.
The Blythes Are Quoted contains forty-one poems attributed to Anne Shirley Blythe and to her son Walter Blythe, who in Rilla of Ingleside goes off to fight in the Great War. Many of these poems were published in periodicals under Montgomery’s name from the early 1920s onward. One exception is “The Old Path Round the Shore,” which was first published much earlier, in a magazine called The Household Ledger, in 1903. “The Piper,” the first poem that appears in the book, was submitted by Montgomery to Saturday Night magazine three weeks before her death, and was published posthumously in the 2 May 1942 issue.
I’m pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of a new, restored edition of L.M. Montgomery’s First World War novel, Rilla of Ingleside, edited by Benjamin Lefebvre and Andrea McKenzie, which will be published on 26 October 2010 by Viking Canada.
First published in 1921, Rilla of Ingleside—originally written as the final sequel to Anne of Green Gables—is one of the only contemporary depictions in Canadian fiction of women on the home front during the First World War. Focusing on Rilla Blythe, the pretty and high-spirited youngest daughter of Anne Shirley, the novel paints a vivid and compelling picture of the women who battled to keep the home fires burning throughout those tumultuous years. Using her own wartime experience and imagination, Montgomery recreates the laughter and grief, poignancy and suspense, struggles and courage of Canadian women at war.
This special gift edition includes Montgomery’s complete, restored, and unabridged original text as well as a thoughtful introduction from the editors, a detailed glossary, maps of Europe during the war, and war poems by L.M. Montgomery and her contemporary Virna Sheard.
Voix plurielles, the journal of the Association des professeur-e-s de français des universités et collèges canadiens, now has a new website through OJS! My article “L’abandon du Grand Récit : réflexion sur la révision de l’identité québécoise dans le dernier tome du roman Les Filles de Caleb,” published in the journal’s May 2006 issue, is now available to download as a PDF.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, The Blythes Are Quoted will be published in Finnish by WSOY as Annan jäähyväiset (literally, Anne’s Farewell). My colleague Vappu Kannas generously mailed me a copy of the publisher’s catalogue as well as her own translation of the catalogue copy, which I’m reproducing here with her permission:
The surprising final book of the classic Anne series now for the first time translated into Finnish.
Adultery, illegality, revenge or death are not themes traditionally connected with the work of L.M. Montgomery – the creator of the classic and romantic girls’ books. However, darker shades colour the would-have-been ninth part of the beloved Anne series which was delivered to the publisher on the day of the author’s death.
The book takes a peek at the family life of the Blythes before and after World War I both from the point of view of Anne and Gilbert and the whole P.E.I. community. An important part of the book are also the poems written by Anne and her son Walter who is going to war. The poems inspire vivid conversation in the Ingleside parlour. Anne’s Farewell includes 15 short stories and 41 poems and it was first published in Canada in its entirety in 2009.
From 1920 onwards new generations of readers have become acquainted with Anne’s innocent world full of tricks and sunshine. For all of them, Anne’s Farewell offers another perspective from which to examine Montgomery’s previous work.
Fun! Can’t wait to see some cover art.
At long last, here is the cover art for the paperback edition of The Blythes Are Quoted, to be published by Penguin Canada late this October.