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Twice upon a Time: Selected Stories, 1898–1939

University of Toronto Press, 2022

Book Three in The L.M. Montgomery Library

Cover art for /Twice upon a Time: Selected Stories, 1898–1939/, by L.M. Montgomery, edited by Benjamin Lefebvre. The top two-thirds of the cover depict framed images of Anne Shirley, a Caucasian woman with red hair, against a vintage blue wallpaper; the bottom third of the image includes the title, the author's name, and the editor's name against a beige background.

Although L.M. Montgomery (1874–1942) is best remembered for the twenty-two book-length works of fiction that she published in her lifetime, from Anne of Green Gables (1908) to Anne of Ingleside (1939), she also contributed some five hundred short stories and serials to a wide range of North American and British periodicals from 1895 to 1940. While most of these stories demonstrate her ability to produce material that would fit the mainstream periodical fiction market as it evolved across almost half a century, many of them also contain early incarnations of characters, storylines, conversations, and settings that she would rework for inclusion in her novels and collections of linked short stories.

In Twice upon a Time, the third volume in The L.M. Montgomery Library, Benjamin Lefebvre collects and discusses over two dozen stories from across Montgomery’s career as a short fiction writer, many of them available in book form for the first time. The volume offers a rare glimpse into Montgomery’s creative process in adapting her periodical work for her books, which continue to fascinate readers all over the world.

Preceded by A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917 and A World of Songs: Selected Poems, 1894–1921.


Twice upon a Time reveals Benjamin Lefebvre’s sleuthing and editing at its best. For scholars and fans alike, this collection of short stories offers a new way of re-experiencing Montgomery’s fiction through the lens of works that often serve dually as prequels and apprenticeship pieces for longer fiction. These stories, alongside Lefebvre’s expert contextualization, help illuminate Montgomery’s methodology and will be a boon for scholars. Twice upon a Time is a treasure trove for all those who appreciate L.M. Montgomery’s genius as a social satirist.”
—Irene Gammel, author of Looking for Anne of Green Gables

“It is no small feat to choose two dozen stories from among the several hundred of Montgomery’s publications in the short story genre. Benjamin Lefebvre’s selections in Twice upon a Time, along with his notes and critical afterword, are informed by an astute editorial vision that is sure to inspire further productive research into Montgomery’s creative methods.”
—Rita Bode, Department of English, Trent University

“Expertly researched and thoughtfully organized, this selection of Montgomery’s stories illuminates how one of Canada’s most successful professional authors recycled and adapted her work during the heyday of popular magazine publication in the late nineteenth century and the first three decades of the twentieth. Benjamin Lefebvre’s detailed editorial content brings important, fresh understanding of Montgomery’s processes of composition by connecting her often obscure stories with her better-known fiction.”
—Carole Gerson, Department of English, Simon Fraser University

Publishing History

Trade paperback, June 2022
Unjacketed hardcover, June 2022


A Note on the Author (vii–viii)
Abbreviations (ix–x)
Preface (xi–xvi)
A Note on the Text (xvii–xix)

Our Uncle Wheeler (3–12)

A New-Fashioned Flavoring (13–24)

Miss Marietta’s Jersey (25–34)

The Old Chest at Wyther Grange (35–44)

Aunt Ethelinda’s Monument (45–52)

Aunt Susanna’s Birthday Celebration (53–57)

The Hurrying of Ludovic (58–66)

The Little Fellow’s Photograph (67–75)

The Old South Orchard (76–83)

The Life-Book of Uncle Jesse (84–94)

A Garden of Old Delights (95–106)

A Pioneer Wooing (107–18)

A Chip of the Old Block (119–25)

The Indecision of Margaret (126–39)

Aunt Philippa and the Men (140–51)

By the Grace of Sarah May (152–58)

Abel and His Great Adventure (159–72)

The Schoolmaster’s Bride (173–81)

Our Neighbors at the Tansy Patch (182–96)

The Matchmaker (197–211)

Tomorrow Comes (212–26)

I Know a Secret (227–40)

Retribution (241–45)

An Afternoon with Mr. Jenkins (246–54)

Appendix: Dog Monday’s Vigil (255–60)

Afterword (261–90)

Notes (291–318)
Bibliography (319–32)