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Top L.M. Montgomery Moments in 2018*

2018 marked so many incredible moments for those who study and admire L.M. Montgomery’s work. From conferences and events, to significant acknowledgements in culture and heritage, readers celebrated the author’s life and work like never before. 

I asked members in the Montgomery community what they felt were their favourite moments in 2018 and have compiled them of the Top L.M. Montgomery Moments in 2018.

Honours

Dr. Elizabeth Waterston received the Order of Canada for her pioneering work as a teacher, writer, editor, public speaker, and mentor to younger writers. 

In the News

L.M. Montgomery’s Heritage Minute: In honour of International Women’s Day,Historica Canada released a Heritage Minute about L.M. Montgomery.  Read Laura Robinson’s reflection on the experience of consulting, along with Dr. Mary Rubio and Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, on the piece.   

“Piece of L.M. Montgomery's childhood home returned to original homestead:”  In December, the CBC reported that a building that used to be the kitchen in the home where Montgomery was raised by her grandparents, Alexander and Lucy Macneill, and where she wrote Anne of Green Gables, was moved back to the Macneill homestead. 

New Publications

April: 

Bode, Rita and Jean Mitchell, ed. L.M. Montgomery and the Matter of Nature(s). Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2018. Inspired by LMMI’s biennial conference, this new collection of essays uses a variety of scholarly lenses to explore Montgomery’s relationship with the natural world.  

May:

Epperly, Elizabeth R. Illustrated by Carolyn M. Epperly. Summer in the Land of Anne. Charlottetown: Acorn Press, 2018. The Epperly sisters collaborate on this beautiful picture book about two sisters traveling to PEI on vacation. Read the full interview.

Montgomery, L.M. L.M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals: The Ontario Years, 1922-1925. Edited by Jen Rubio. Toronto: Rock’s Mills Press, 2018. The latest publication of the complete journals explores Montgomery’s final years in Leaskdale. Read Rubio’s approach to editing the complete journals.

June:

Macneill, Charles and L.M. Montgomery. Diary of Charles Macneill, Farmer, 1892–1896. Edited by Jen Rubio. Toronto: Rock’s Mills Press, 2018. In her journal, Montgomery transcribed her cousin’s diary. Now, the diary and Montgomery’s comments are published here in their entirety for the first time. 

Rosenberg, Liz. Illustrated by Julie Morstad. House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery.Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2018. This biography for young readers is one of the first to tackle the new revelations about Montgomery’s death and mental health. Michaela Wipond interviewed the author and illustrator about their creative processes.

July: 

Montgomery, L.M. (2009).The Blythes are Quoted: Penguin Classics Edition. Edited by Benjamin Lefebvre. New York: Penguin Random House, 2018. Montgomery’s posthumously published novel is now added to the Penguin Modern Classicscollection with a revised introduction by Lefebvre and an updated afterword by Elizabeth Epperly. 

October:

Fishbane, Melanie J. (2017). Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery. Toronto: Penguin Random House of Canada, 2018. Fishbane’s YA novel about Montgomery’s teen life was released in paperback. The novel was also  Shortlisted 2018 Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature, under its Children’s/Young Adult category Watch Andrea Mackenzie’s interview with the author

McCoy, Sarah. Marilla of Green Gables. Toronto; New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2018. The New York Timesbestselling author fictionalizes Marilla Cuthbert’s life before Anne Shirley came to live with the Cuthberts. Avery Award student, Michaela Wipond, met McCoy when she came to visit the Island in October

November:

Montgomery, L.M. A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917.Edited by Benjamin Lefebvre. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018. Lefebvre introduces The L.M. Montgomery Librarywith the release of this first collection, featuring articles from when Montgomery was a teenager, her time writing for the Halifax Daily Echoand much more. A second book, A World of Songs, will be released in 2019.

December:

The 2018 Shining Scroll. L.M. Montgomery Literary Society. This year’s edition features highlights from the past year, a preview of a new book by Carolyn Collins about the Anne of Green Gables manuscript and much more. 

Institute News and Highlights from the L.M. Montgomery and Reading Conference 

The Institute marked a major milestone this year with the celebration of its 25thanniversary in April. It also announced the soon-to-be-launched, Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies, the re-launch of Avery Award—that went to budding Montgomery scholar, Michaela Wipond—and held the 13thBiennial Conference in June, L.M. Montgomery and Reading.

Welcoming scholars from all over the world, the L.M. Montgomery and Reading Conference also introduced the next Visiting Scholar, Dr. Lesley Clement,and the planting of a tree on the UPEI grounds to honour the friendship between kindred spirits of Japan and PEI. It also announced a number of new awards for significant contribution to Montgomery’s life and work. 

These are:

The L.M. Montgomery Institute Legacy Award, for outstanding lifetime contributions in building Montgomery scholarship and/or public engagement:

Elizabeth Hillman Waterston, Mary Henley Rubio, Jennie Moore Macneill, John Ernest Macneill

The Rev. Dr. Francis W.P. Bolger Award, for outstanding contributions to our appreciation of Montgomery and place in Prince Edward Island, through scholarship, education, preservation, creative works, or by other means:

The Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace Trust

The Dr. Elizabeth R. Epperly Award for Outstanding Early Career Paper:  Bonnie Tulloch

Events 

March

The Archival and Special Collections at the University of Guelph Library launched an exhibit, “From Glen Notes to War Notes: A Canadian Perspective on the First World War in Rilla of Ingleside,” which is a commemoration of the 100thanniversary of the end of the First World War. 

May: 

Dr. Kate Scarth gave the May Island Studies lecture, "Anne of Charlottetown and Summerside: L.M. Montgomery's Urban PEI." You can watch the full lecture here.  

ACCUTE Conference Panel Discussion: “L.M. Montgomery and the City.” The annual conference was held in Regina this year. Organized by Dr. Kate Scarth (who gave a paper, “L.M. Montgomery Writes Halifax”), the panel also featured papers by E. Holly Pike (“L.M. Montgomery’s City of Ladies” and Melanie J. Fishbane (“‘Between the river and the poplar bluffs’: L. M. Montgomery's Nostalgic Reminiscences of Prince Albert.”)

June: 

As part of its 200thanniversary celebrations, Dalhousie Universityrecognized L.M. Montgomery with a plaque in the Forest Building, where Montgomery studied, now the Faculty of Heath. That same week, Project Bookmark held a special fundraising event, “L.M. Montgomery’s Halifax: A Literary Soirée,” featuring Alexander MacLeod and a raffle featuring the new Anne of Green Gables illustrations by Elly MacKay.

Project Bookmark commemorated Montgomery’s life and work with a plaque featuring her poem, “The Gable Window,” at the Macneill Homestead. Montgomery is now part of Project Bookmark’s nationwide literary trail. 

October:

L.M. Montgomery Day – At Home in Leaskdale. Hosted by the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario, the annual day honours Montgomery’s connection to Leaskdale, with lectures from Montgomery scholars, a book signing, and a tour of the manse.  

In Norval, the Lucy Maud Montgomery Museum and Literary Centre helped sponsor the panel discussion, “Bringing Lucy Maud Montgomery Home to Norval: Past, Present and Future.” The event focused on the author’s life in Norval. Moderated by Lois Fraser, the three panelists were, Dr. Mary Rubio, Matthew Rowe, and Jessica Young.

November: 

On November 10th, Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum and Community Centre held “A Night with L.M. Montgomery.” Emceed by Kathy Wasylenky, the evening featured dinner with recipes from Kate Macdonald Butler’s L.M. Montgomery Cookbookand Dr. Laura Robinson’s exhibit and talk, “L.M. Montgomery and the Canadian Home Front.” 

The village of Norval's 25th Anniversary of their annual "Montgomery Christmas.” Celebrations included visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and the Norval United Church Brass Band. 

 

*Thanks to LMMI's Digital Assistant, Emma Doucette, for additional reporting and copy.