Despite the enormous popularity of her books, particularly Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery's role in the development of Canada's national culture is not often discussed by literary historians. This is curious as some of Canada's leading writers, including Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, and Jane Urquhart, have acknowledged their indebtedness to Montgomery's fiction. That scholars have not mined the 'Canadianness' of Montgomery's writing is redressed by this collection. It is the first systematic effort to investigate and explore Montgomery's active engagement with Canadian nationalism and identity, including regionalism, canon formation, and Canadian-American cultural relations. It examines her work in relation to the many dramatic changes of her day, such as the women's movement and the advent of new technologies; and it looks at the national and international consumption of Anne of Green Gables, in the form of both 'high' culture and cultural tourism. The wide range of contributors represent views from across disciplines and boundaries, including feminist, biographical, psychoanalytical, historical, and cultural approaches.
The scholarly reflections are punctuated to great effect by creative pieces, personal reflections, and interviews. This ground-breaking collection will appeal to all fans of Montgomery's work and to students of Canadian letters. It places Montgomery and her work squarely in the mainstream of Canadian literary history, affirming her importance to our country's cultural development.
Elizabeth Rollins Epperly is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Prince Edward Island. She is a past president of UPEI and the founder of its L.M. Montgomery Institute. Irene Gammel is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Modern Literature and Culture in the Department of English at Ryerson University.