As soon as it was published in 1908, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, the first of eight stories about Anne Shirley, found fans and made its author famous. So it may be surprising to learn that, after multiple rejections by publishers, Montgomery (1874–1942) had at one point shelved the manuscript and this now-iconic piece was at real risk of not making it beyond her writing desk. Fortunately, all those rejections were not enough to deter someone with a determined temperament such as hers, and eventually Montgomery found her publisher. And now, over one hundred years later, the first page of the novel’s manuscript has found its place in our Embellished Manuscripts Collection.
L.M. Montgomery lost her parents when she was only twenty-one months old. This event, and her experience of growing up under the care of her grandparents on Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), became driving forces in the life story she created for Anne. For readers, the idyllic descriptions of rustic Canada and wholesome, earnest characters common to Montgomery’s stories are welcome refuges from the stresses of modern life. Today, there are many tourist attractions on P.E.I. that commemorate the literary legacy of the good-hearted and high-spirited orphan girl with ginger hair.
Although she wrote many novels, short stories and poems, Montgomery is best known for her Anne Shirley novels. The manuscript page on the cover our L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables journal comes from the permanent collection belonging to the Performing Centre for the Arts in Charlottetown, P.E.I., a part of the geography featured in the stories about Anne. On the back cover you’ll find an image representative of a typical P.E.I. scene.
As fellow Canadians we are honoured to celebrate this timeless character and her talented creator. We hope this new Anne of Green Gables design will remind you of the adventures and humorous mishaps that you shared as a child with your favourite literary characters.
About Paperblanks: At Paperblanks, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at paperblanks.com.