March 15, 2016

Readying Rilla: L.M. Montgomery's Reworking of Rilla of Ingleside

Readying Rilla: L.M. Montgomery's Reworking of Rilla of Ingleside edited by Elizabeth Waterston and Kate Waterston


Readying Rilla: L.M. Montgomery's Reworking of Rilla of Ingleside edited by Elizabeth Waterston and Kate Waterston was published by Rock's Mill Press on February 25, 2016. The book includes a full transcription of Montgomery's 518-page handwritten original manuscript of the novel as well as the additional 71 pages of “notes” Montgomery composed while writing the story. L.M. Montgomery's handwritten pages were transcribed by Kate Waterston. The book also includes annotations of the text. Examining the manuscript and the finished novel provides insight into L.M. Montgomery's creative process as a writer.

Here is the description of the book from Rock's Mill Press:

L.M. Montgomery began writing Rilla of Ingleside shortly after the end of World War I. Her story of the war was not about soldiers fighting and dying on Flanders Fields, but about Canadians struggling to “keep the home fires burning.” It is a novel that today remains at once both deeply moving and, on occasion, very funny. As she wrote the novel over a period of two years, Montgomery accumulated 518 handwritten pages. Alongside this stack was another 71 pages, titled “Notes.” These notes---literary second thoughts, as it were---added textual flavour, improving the novel’s realism, emotional depth, and humour. Montgomery’s handwritten manuscript of Rilla was acquired by the University of Guelph Archival & Special Collections in 1999. This manuscript has been painstakingly rendered in a readable format by Kate Waterston and is now published as Readying Rilla, with an introduction by Montgomery expert Elizabeth Waterston.

This edition is a surprisingly engrossing read, but offers a different experience than the finished novel provides. Here we sense Montgomery’s own thought processes, and witness the way she carefully refined her novel. The world has changed much since 1921: now books are mostly composed on computer, leaving behind little record of the writer’s creative journey to a final published work. But editing is a key process in creating any great work of fiction, and here is one of the most detailed records of creativity available.

L.M. MONTGOMERY, OBE (1874–1942) wrote 20 books in her lifetime, including Anne of Green Gables (1908), Rilla of Ingleside (1921) and Emily of New Moon (1923). She also kept a series of journals from the age of fifteen to the end of her life..

Reviews

“I love L.M. Montgomery's novel Rilla of Ingleside, and this gives a whole new way of seeing and appreciating it. As always, Elizabeth Waterston's prose is beautiful, and her introduction makes the reader want to dive right in to see what pattern can be intuited from the kinds of changes [Montgomery] made on the manuscript. Altogether a fascinating read. -- Elizabeth R. Epperly, author of The Fragrance of Sweet-Grass: L.M. Montgomery's Heroines and the Pursuit of Romance



Image credit:
Book cover of Readying Rilla: L.M. Montgomery's Reworking of Rilla of Ingleside from Rock's Mill Press.

Purchase and read Readying Rilla: L.M. Montgomery's Reworking of Rilla of Ingleside:

Readying Rilla: L.M. Montgomery's Reworking of Rilla of Ingleside edited by Elizabeth Waterston and Kate Waterston

Created March 15, 2016.
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