The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 3: A Legacy in Review

Paperback edition (2020)
Cover of /The L.M. Montgomery Reader/, Volume 3: /A Legacy in Review/
Hardcover edition (2015)

Edited by Benjamin Lefebvre
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015. x + 453 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-4426-4493-9
Rights Sold: World

Preceded by Volume 1: A Life in Print and Volume 2: A Critical Heritage

Publishing History

Jacketed hardcover, January 2015
Ebook edition, January 2015
Trade paperback, June 2020


This third and final volume of The L.M. Montgomery Reader examines a long overlooked portion of Montgomery’s critical reception: reviews of her books. Although Montgomery downplayed the impact that reviews had on her writing career, claiming to be amused and tolerant of reviewers’ contradictory opinions about her work, she nevertheless cared enough to keep a large percentage of them in scrapbooks as an archive of her career.

Edited by leading Montgomery scholar Benjamin Lefebvre, this volume presents 370 reviews from eight countries that raise questions about and offer reflections on gender, genre, setting, character, audience, and nationalism, much of which anticipated the scholarship that has thrived in the last four decades. Lefebvre’s extended introduction and chapter headnotes place the reviews in the context of Montgomery’s literary career and trace the evolution of attitudes to her work, and his epilogue examines the response to her books, letters, journals, and other writings that were published posthumously.

A comprehensive account of the reception of Montgomery’s books, published during and after her lifetime, A Legacy in Review completes this important new resource for L.M. Montgomery scholars and fans around the world.

Benjamin Lefebvre, PhD, lives in Waterloo, Ontario, and is director of L.M. Montgomery Online. His previous publications include an edition of L.M. Montgomery’s rediscovered final book, The Blythes Are Quoted.


Acknowledgments (vii–viii)

Abbreviations (ix–x)

Introduction: A Legacy in Review / Benjamin Lefebvre (3–48)

A Note on the Text (49–50)

1. Anne of Green Gables (1908) (51–68)

2. Anne of Avonlea (1909) (69–83)

3. Kilmeny of the Orchard (1910) (84–91)

4. The Story Girl (1911) (92–114)

5. Chronicles of Avonlea (1912) (115–38)

6. The Golden Road (1913) (139–54)

7. Anne of the Island (1915) (155–71)

8. The Watchman and Other Poems (1916) (172–79)

9. Anne’s House of Dreams (1917) (180–99)

10. Rainbow Valley (1919) (200–18)

11. Further Chronicles of Avonlea (1920) (219–23)

12. Rilla of Ingleside (1921) (224–40)

13. Emily of New Moon (1923) (241–52)

14. Emily Climbs (1925) (253–68)

15. The Blue Castle: A Novel (1926) (269–85)

16. Emily’s Quest (1927) (286–96)

17. Magic for Marigold (1929) (297–306)

18. A Tangled Web / Aunt Becky Began It (1931) (307–14)

19. Pat of Silver Bush (1933) (315–26)

20. Courageous Women (1934) (with Marian Keith and Mabel Burns Mckinley) (327–28)

21. Mistress Pat: A Novel of Silver Bush (1935) (329–33)

22. Anne of Windy Poplars / Anne of Windy Willows (1936) (334–39)

23. Jane of Lantern Hill (1937) (340–44)

24. Anne of Ingleside (1939) (345–52)

Epilogue: Posthumous Titles, 1960–2013 / Benjamin Lefebvre (353–90)

Sources (391–411)

Bibliography (413–38)

Index (439–53)


“Now that it is complete, The L.M. Montgomery Reader is sure to be the authoritative source on Montgomery’s critical and popular reception as a bestselling author. Benjamin Lefebvre has devoted many years to the Reader, and one cannot imagine anyone better suited for the work.”
—Janice Fiamengo, Department of English, University of Ottawa

“Benjamin Lefebvre amasses a century-long, world-wide array of responses to L.M. Montgomery’s work. Readers will be surprised and amused by his revelation of wild swings in taste and bias among critics of the ever-popular Canadian writer.”
—Elizabeth Waterston, Department of English, University of Guelph


“Lefebvre has thoroughly mined earlier scholars’ bibliographies and online newspaper archives to find reviews in periodicals from eight different countries, including the Bookman (London), the Globe (Toronto) and Vogue (New York) … Collectively, these reviews … represent a superb barometer of [Montgomery’s] fluctuating cultural value as a writer.”
—Irene Gammel, The Times Literary Supplement

“Lefebvre’s overall achievement in this Reader series is a masterful compilation of archival adeptness and exquisite editing that addresses, through collation, crucial source materials for specialists in Canadian literature and history.”
—Aoife Assumpta Hart, Canadian Literature

“Lefebvre caps each chapter with an overview, weighing positives versus negatives, tracking how they match up with the history of the work traced in the introduction, and commenting on historical context when necessary. The result is a fascinating study of not only the evolving reception of Montgomery’s work but also of the changing form of the book review itself.”
—Jason Nisenson, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada

“Lefebvre’s ambitious and exhaustive series … serve[s] as both a thorough resource for serious Montgomery scholars and a fascinating case study of the ways popular media influence literary legacy … Lefebvre’s judicious editing helps make each entry readable and, together with the contextual framework provided, clearly useful to those interested in Montgomery and media culture. As Lefebvre himself notes, the well of new or ‘rediscovered’ Montgomery material seems never to run dry, making well-framed collections like this one even more useful.”
—Emily Woster, Children’s Literature

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