November 27, 2022

Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery

Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery: Continuing Conversations edited by Rita Bode, Lesley D. Clement, E. Holly Pike and Margaret Steffler

Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery: Continuing Conversations was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in October 2022. This book of scholarship explores L.M. Montgomery's portrayals of childhood in her writing. It was edited by Rita Bode, Lesley D. Clement, E. Holly Pike and Margaret Steffler. The volume contains contributions by Kate Scarth, Lesley D. Clement, Rita Bode, Margaret Steffler, Bonnie J. Tulloch, E. Holly Pike, Åsa Warnqvist, Heidi A. Lawrence, William V. Thompson, Yoshiko Akamatsu, Balaka Basu, Laura M. Robinson, Vappu Kannas, Holly Cinnamon, Rosalee Peppard Lockyer, and Kit Pearson.

Here is the description of the volume from McGill-Queen’s University Press:

From Jane Austen to contemporary fanfiction and adaptations, literary portrayals of the child and imaginings of childhood are particularly telling indicators of cultural values and when they shift.

Inspired by the responsive reading practices of L.M. Montgomery herself, those demonstrated by her characters, and those of her diverse readership, Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery works with concepts of confluence, based on organic, non-linear readings of texts across time and space. Such readings reconsider views of childhood and children by challenging power hierarchies and inequities found in approaches that privilege more linear readings of literary influence. While acknowledging differences between childhood and adulthood, contributors emphasize kinship between child and adult as well as between past and present selves and use both scholarly approaches and creative reimagining to explore how the boundaries between different stages of life are blurred in Montgomery’s writing.

Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery addresses Montgomery’s challenges to prescribed assumptions about childhood while positioning her novels as essential texts in twenty-first-century literary, childhood, and youth studies. Contributors include Yoshiko Akamatsu (Notre Dame Seishin University), Balaka Basu (UNC Charlotte), Rita Bode (Trent University), Holly Cinnamon, Lesley D. Clement, Vappu Kannas, Heidi Lawrence (University of Glasgow), Kit Pearson, Rosalee Peppard Lockyer, E. Holly Pike, Laura Robinson (Acadia University), Kate Scarth (UPEI), Margaret Steffler (Trent University), William Thompson (MacEwan University), Bonnie Tulloch (UBC), Åsa Warnqvist (Swedish Institute for Children’s Books).


“By presenting Montgomery’s fiction as conversing with past and present creative writers, contributors provide a helpful focal point within the broad framework of the collection, extending prior conceptual understandings of the cultural role of reading.” Irene Gammel, author of Looking for Anne: How Lucy Maud Montgomery Dreamed Up a Literary Classic

“This collection [is] valuable and [a rarity] in academic literary studies. It is a book both for scholars and for the “Maud Squad.” Historical Studies in Education/Revue d’histoire de l’éducation

The book includes the following content and essays:

Introduction by Lesley D. Clement, with assistance from Rita Bode, E. Holly Pike, and Margaret Steffler

Part One: Conversing with the Past: Vulnerability, Resistance, and Resilience

1. Emily of New Moon and Fanny of Mansfield Park: Childhood at Home in Jane Austen and L.M. Montgomery by Kate Scarth
2. L.M. Montgomery’s Precocious Children: Resisting Adult Narratives of Death, Dying, and the Afterlife by Lesley D. Clement
3. Vulnerable Situations: Boys and Boyhood in the Emily Books by Rita Bode

Part Two: Conversing with the Present: Fantasy, the Ideal, and the Real

4. The Performance of the Beautiful Dream Boy in Novels by L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett by Margaret Steffler
5. Lost Boys and Lost Girls: The Kindred Offspring of J.M. Barrie and L.M. Montgomery by Bonnie J. Tulloch
6. Magic for Marigold, Childhood, and Fiction by E. Holly Pike

Part Three: Continuing Literary Conversations: Transformative Relationships and Spaces

7. Loving, Larking, and Lying: Free-Spirited Children and Disciplinary Adults in the Works of L.M. Montgomery and Astrid Lindgren by Åsa Warnqvist
8. Absent Fathers: Conversations between L.M. Montgomery and Madeleine L’Engle by Heidi A. Lawrence
9. Transformative Girlhood and Twenty-First-Century Girldom in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables by William V. Thompson

Part Four: Continuing Transmediated Conversations: Anime, Fanfiction, and Television Adaptations

10. The Problems and Possibilities Inherent in Adaptation: Emily of New Moon and Emily, Girl of the Wind by Yoshiko Akamatsu
11. Continuing Stories: L.M. Montgomery and Fanfiction in the Digital Era by Balaka Basu
12. Anne with an Edge: CBC-Netflix’s Rereading of Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables by Laura M. Robinson


Preface to the Afterwords by Lesley D. Clement and Margaret Steffler

Emily Kent - The Afterlife of Emily of New Moon by Vappu Kannas
Anne’s Nature by Holly Cinnamon
My Maud by Katie Maurice by Rosalee Peppard Lockyer
Dear Maud by Kit Pearson

Image credit:
Book cover of Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery from McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Purchase and read Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery:

Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery: Continuing Conversations edited by Rita Bode, Lesley D. Clement, E. Holly Pike and Margaret Steffler

Created November 27, 2022. Last updated June 12, 2024.

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