Thursday, July 9, 2009

Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you. -Harold Bloom

Things are going alright around here. I still haven’t found a job and I’m just trying to stay positive and upbeat although it’s pretty hard. I’ve been trying to fill my days by working on projects, baking, and reading. I’m moving along quite well on that super-secret project for my high school best friend’s wedding; it’s in a couple of weeks and then I’ll post pictures of the gift.

I have a few vintage Lucy Maud Montgomery books that I’ve been meaning to share and today I finally have the time to show two of them (there are still three to go). The first is Kilmeny of the Orchard.

This particular volume is a first edition, seventh impression (October 1911) and is in pretty rough shape. As with the book below I got it for a decent price and frankly just owning it makes me happy. I absolutely adore the frontispiece and three interior colour illustrations, but unfortunately I’m not able to show them due to camera issues. Even though Kilmeny of the Orchard is considered by many to be an overly sentimental book I do love it and find great escape every time I read it.

The book below is a first edition, third impression (June 1920) copy of Further Chronicles of Avonlea.

Further Chronicles of Avonlea has a very interesting story actually. Lucy Maud Montgomery had grown increasingly unhappy with her original publishers, L.C. Page and Co. of Boston, and in 1916 decided to change publishers to McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart of Toronto (Stokes handled publishing in the US). In 1918 Maud brought suit against L.C. Page for holding back royalties, and for the intent to publish material without her consent (among other things). This unauthorized publication is Further Chronicles of Avonlea. Basically what the Page Company did was take stories that had been rejected for publication in the book Chronicles of Avonlea (1912), revise them (without permission), and slap Further Chronicles of Avonlea on the cover. Obviously these stories are still work written by Maud (many of the stories were material that had been previously published in magazines and edited to include references to Anne), but the Page Company published this work after their contract was expired, revised the works further without a thought to propriety, and tried to pass off this book as another Anne story (a major seller, note the red hair of the girl on the cover). Maud did end up winning her case against the Page Company, but they still retained rights to all material they had published and ended up selling the film rights to Anne of Green Gables for much more money than they had to pay Maud in settlement.

I’m actually re-reading Anne of Green Gables right now. I don’t even want to hazard a guess at how many times I’ve read this book (or any other Maud book for that matter). I’m enjoying it of course and think that I may continue and read more Maud when I’m done. I have read so many books in the time that I’ve been off and I think they deserve their very own, separate post (which I will do soon…hopefully).


  1. Oh awesome - a first edition! What a lovely collection you have!

    Enjoy Anne of Green Gables.... again, hehehehe.

  2. Thanks for telling me to look further back! (Only subscribed for a year or so.) I have in firsts Anne of Avonlea and Kilmeny too. Well, technically, I suppose some of the "newly discovered" short story collections are firsts as well... I'm mostly an Alcott collector, but Montgomery comes second in my collecting (seem to like people beginning with L. M.!).