I just read a very interesting article about L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. It compared Anne with Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Freckles, and other orphan centered turn of the century works. It was strange because somehow I had never run across L.M. Montgomery until Kevin Sullivan’s Anne of Green Gables production was first shown on the now dearly departed Wonderworks. The advertisements said it was a cross between Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm (which I had also loved) so how could I resist? I ended up liking Anne even better than Rebecca, so much so that my mother once accused me of having left Laura behind and gone on to Anne (an idea which I quickly disabused her of – I did go to Prince Edward Island as my high school graduation present and loved it.)
The article discusses how Canadian were Montgomery’s books and then similarities between Anne and Rebecca. I hadn’t realized how many there were. I think anyone who has loved Anne would find the article fascinating and I highly recommend it. However, it’s conclusions seem equivocal at best is more raising interesting ideas than reaching any kind of conclusion about the various points it raises.
A final point it raises I would like to emphasis is Montgomery’s mindset in writing the last two books in the Anne series, Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside. These last two books are permeated with World War I. I especially feel that the final volume, Rilla of Ingleside is quite simply the finest novel depicting the homefront of World War I that I have read. If you started with Anne, but faltered before you reached the end of the series, I urge to read these last two volumes, especially Rilla.
Dawson, Janis. “Literary Relations: Anne Shirley and Her American Cousins.” Children’s Literature in Education. 33.1 (2002): 29-51. Print. ISSN 0045-6713.
UPDATED November 30 2019: I added a photo of my Montgomery shelf and my signature block.
Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.