The L.M. Montgomery Reader
Volume Two: A Critical Heritage
Following on the heels of the first volume of The L. M. Montgomery Reader, this second volume narrates the development of L. M. Montgomery’s (1874–1942) critical reputation in the seventy years since her death. Edited by leading Montgomery scholar Benjamin Lefebvre, it traces milestones and turning points such as adaptations for stage and screen, posthumous publications, and the development of Montgomery Studies as a scholarly field. Lefebvre’s introduction also considers Montgomery’s publishing history in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom at a time when her work remained in print not because it was considered part of a university canon of literature, but simply due to the continued interest of readers. The twenty samples of Montgomery scholarship included in this volume broach topics such as gender and genre, narrative strategies in fiction and life writing, translation, and Montgomery’s archival papers. They reflect shifts in Montgomery's critical reputation decade by decade: the 1960s, when a milestone chapter on Montgomery coincided with a second wave of texts seeking to create a canon of Canadian literature; the 1970s, in the midst of a sustained reassessment of popular fiction and of literature by women; the 1980s, when the publication of Montgomery’s life writing, which coincided with the broadcast of critically acclaimed television productions adapted from her fiction, radically altered how readers perceived her and her work; the 1990s, when a conference series on Montgomery began to generate a sustained amount of scholarship; and the opening years of the twenty-first century, when the field of Montgomery Studies became both international and interdisciplinary. This is the first book to consider the posthumous life of one of Canada's most enduringly popular authors.
“Both scholars and devoted readers of this complex Canadian author will find it fascinating. ”- Barbara L. Talcroft
‘Lefebvre’s archival research is thorough and often brilliant, making the Reader an invaluable trove not only for Montgomery scholars but also for those working with the reception history of Canadian writers. ’- Anne Furlong