I’m so excited that I can finally tell you more about the new edition of my favourite book by L.M. Montgomery, Rilla of Ingleside. The image on the right is probably the edition people are most familiar with
I’ve read and re-read this book many times and I’m always moved by the depth of emotion conveyed by the book’s protagonist, Rilla Blythe (Anne and Gilbert’s teenage daugther named after Marilla Cuthbert.) We see WWI through her eyes. As I read it, I couldn’t help but consider Montgomery’s own reactions to war and how it influenced this novel. My impressions is that this was the most creative (and perhaps therapeutic) way for Montgomery to express her own anxiety and grief.
I get chills every time I see this page from the manuscript. I can just imagine how much fun it was for the editions’ editors to read and work from it. It allows us a glimpse into Montgomery’s process as a writer.
I’m excited to see what the editions editors, Benjamin Lefebvre and Andrea McKenzie will say about the novel. From what I understand it is the only book written by a Canadian woman writer during WWI that discusses the experiences of women at home. I think that is what makes this book such an important part of Canadian literature, and, hopefully with this new edition, it will find its rightful place within the canon.
To find out more, be sure to check out Benjamin’s Lefebvre’s blog entry about the book.