Showing posts with label Anne of Green Gables Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anne of Green Gables Series. Show all posts

May 10, 2022

What's in a Name? Rainbow Valley: L.M. Montgomery, Johnny Cash, Love Affair, and John Wayne

Steve Ellis of Love Affair singing Rainbow Valley, Johnny Cash, L.M. Montgomery's novel Rainbow Valley, poster for Rainbow Valley starring John Wayne

I recently finished a book called Forever Words: The Unknown Poems by Johnny Cash. This collection of Johnny Cash's poems and lyrics was published posthumously in 2016. It's a great book if you're a fan of The Man in Black.

So how does this relate to L.M. Montgomery? Well, as I was reading the book, I read the lyrics for a song Johnny Cash wrote in the 1970s called "Chinky Pin Hill." (It's now been recorded in a beautiful rendition by I'm With Her). The third stanza of the song reads:

We'll stop in Rainbow Valley
Where the church is standing still
And we'll be newlywed married
On Chinky Pin Hill

Seeing the name "Rainbow Valley" got my attention because it's the name of the seventh book in the Anne of Green Gables series. L.M. Montgomery's Rainbow Valley was published in 1919.

Johnny Cash had capitalized Rainbow Valley as a real, definable place. Could Cash have come across Montgomery's Anne series on a bookshelf somewhere and remembered the name? Or was there a real Rainbow Valley out there?

I started digging around the internet. It turns out that there is a Rainbow Valley on Mount Everest where many climbers have fallen to their deaths in their colorful gear. Well, I was clearly following the wrong thread there.

I continued searching and came across a cheerful song called "Rainbow Valley" by a band from London called Love Affair from 1968. The lyrics are sweet and charming:

The sun always shines
down in my Rainbow Valley.
There's one that's always mine,
down in my Rainbow Valley.

Maybe this song title made its way into Johnny Cash's lyrics? I also wondered, could Love Affair have been inspired to name their song by L.M. Montgomery's book?

Going back even farther, there's a 1935 film titled Rainbow Valley starring John Wayne. I wonder what inspired the title of this film. Were all these people simply influenced by rainbows in valleys, or could they have been inspired by one another?

What's in a name? My hours of digging provided me with no definitive answers. Sometimes art is all about hidden dialogues and connection, picking up inspiration from people, words, sounds, and observations and putting them all together in unexplainable ways to create something new.


Created May 10, 2022.

May 04, 2022

The sea has one only...

A quote on the voices of the woods and the sea by L.M. Montgomery in Anne's House of Dreams. 

"The woods call to us with a hundred voices, but the sea has one only—a mighty voice that drowns our souls in its majestic music. The woods are human, but the sea is of the company of the archangels."

-L.M. Montgomery
Anne's House of Dreams


Read more quotes by L.M. Montgomery.

Image credit:

Photograph by Ingrid A. Lobo.

Purchase and read Anne's House of Dreams:

Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery


Created May 4, 2022.

May 01, 2022

Limited Time Deal on Rilla of Ingleside Audiobook

Rilla of Ingleside Audiobook

If you love audiobooks, there's a great deal on a new version of Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery at Chirp right now. For the next 25 days, you can purchase Rilla of Ingleside as a digital audiobook for $1.99. The regular price is $15.99.

This new digital audiobook was just released by InAudio on February 22, 2022. The book is read by Erin Bateman, and the run time is 11 hours and 32 minutes.

Chirp describes the book as follows:


"This follow-up to the treasured classic Anne of Green Gables has over 21,100 five-star Goodreads ratings! On the brink of World War I, Anne and Gilbert Blythe’s youngest daughter is still a teenager. But when she falls in love with a soldier and her brothers enlist in the conflict, Rilla must summon all of her courage as her life changes forever."

Publisher's description:


"Rilla is Anne and Gilbert Blythe’s youngest daughter, an excitable 15-year-old who is unaware of how the world works, and is only interested in having fun. But the world is on the brink of a global war, and soon Rilla’s family and life are turned upside down, as several of her brothers enlist in the army and are sent to fight overseas.

The book follows Rilla’s life through the duration of World War I, as she grows up quickly from the responsibilities put on young women in this time. She adopts an orphaned child and raises him, runs the local Junior Red Cross, falls in love with a soldier just before he deploys, and even assists in the elopement of a soldier to his beloved.

This novel captures the anxiety of living with one’s family away at war, as well as captures the unique perspective of a woman’s life at home during the First World War (and is the only Canadian novel that shows this perspective written by a contemporary of the war). Through the sadness and bleak moments brought to the world in this war, and the loss that the Blythes face, there is yet again hope to be found in the love of the families and neighbors of Ingleside."

Created May 1, 2022.

March 11, 2022

I hate this war...

A quote on hating war by L.M. Montgomery in Rilla of Ingleside.

"'I hate this war,' said Rilla bitterly, as she gazed out into the maple grove that was a chill glory of pink and gold in the winter sunset."

-L.M. Montgomery
Rilla of Ingleside


Read more quotes by L.M. Montgomery.

Image credit:
Photograph by Ingrid A. Lobo.

Purchase and read Rilla of Ingleside and the Anne of Green Gables series:

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Book Set by L.M. Montgomery


Created March 11, 2022.

February 02, 2022

Joy and regret...

A quote on joy and regret by L.M. Montgomery in Anne of Avonlea.

"Joy and regret struggled together in her heart."

-L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Avonlea


Read more quotes by L.M. Montgomery.

Image credit:

Photograph by Ingrid A. Lobo.

Purchase and read Anne of Avonlea and the Anne of Green Gables series:

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Book Set by L.M. Montgomery


Created February 2, 2022.

February 01, 2022

And she was richer in those dreams...

A quote on dreams and realities by L.M. Montgomery in Anne of the Island.

"And she was richer in those dreams than in realities; for things seen pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

-L.M. Montgomery
Anne of the Island


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Image credit:
Photograph by Ingrid A. Lobo.

Purchase and read Anne of the Island and the Anne of Green Gables series:

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Book Set by L.M. Montgomery


Created February 1, 2022.

January 27, 2022

Thoughts on "The 'Anne of Green Gables' V.R. Experience"

The "Anne of Green Gables" V.R. Experience by Weike Wang, published in The New Yorker, Illustration by Luci GutiƩrrez

On Monday, The New Yorker published an article titled, "The 'Anne of Green Gables' V.R. Experience" by Weike Wang. The article appears in the "Shouts & Murmurs" section, which contains humor, satire, and funny observations. It's a curious piece, and I recommend reading it if you're an Anne of Green Gables fan.

The article begins without mentioning any history of Anne of Green Gables and fails to mention the novel's author, L.M. Montgomery, by name. These were odd omissions. But perhaps Anne is such an iconic character that she and Montgomery no longer need an introduction.

Rather than spending time on introductory matters, Weike Wang dives into a description of your Anne of Green Gables virtual reality experience. You (as Anne Shirley) have a choice in skin tones, but must have long red hair styled in two braids. Your journey in the carriage occurs in the autumn and without Matthew (unlike the book), and you meet the Cuthberts at Green Gables.

Later, your virtual reality experience continues in the classroom where your teacher leaves a vowel out of your name to your dismay. When your classmate Gilbert Blythe insults you, you have the option to hit him with a virtual arsenal of weapons including the standard slate, as well as a retractable prop dagger, a dead fish, and more. After class you go on "life-affirming adventures" with your bosom friend Diana Barry.

Then you must study, eventually graduating with your teaching license from Queen’s and winning the prestigious Avery scholarship, which allows you to attend a four-year college. Your friends, including Gilbert, celebrate you. Weike Wang notes that you can choose to end your virtual reality experience here, "feeling galvanized, like you can do anything," or you can choose to stay for the final two minutes. In these final minutes, your family loses their savings, Matthew Cuthbert dies of a heart attack, and you defer your dreams for a time and stay at Green Gables. Then you marry Gilbert, have seven children, and live in an idyllic home. Wang writes, "though you do leave the room less galvanized, you are relieved that the immense pressure to amount to something has resolved itself and, in the natural course of adulting, priorities must change."

The article had a bit of humor and weirdness, but it also left me thinking about the author's purpose. Was it simply a humorous piece, poking fun at virtual reality and Zuckerberg's metaverse, or was it more? Weike Wang brings up an interesting point, namely, that in this virtual reality version of Anne's story, you could stop your experience at a wonderfully high point in Anne's life. When Anne wins the Avery scholarship, she has so many ambitions and dreams ahead of her, and she's on the cusp of success.

Do many modern women truly want to live out Anne's full life story? When she's young, she's charismatic and passionate, and she doesn't conform. She's not ordinary. But later, she gives up her dreams of teaching and writing for her loving brood of children and devoted (but mainly absentee) husband. As Weike Wang notes, "A person can’t trailblaze forever; she has to slow down sometimes and take stock of societal norms." This piece left me wondering where I would choose to conclude my own Anne of Green Gables virtual reality experience and whether I would prefer to leave before those final two minutes.

Created January 27, 2022.

January 13, 2022

Anne blew a couple of airy kisses...

Anne of Green Gables Quote on Cherry Blossoms

"Anne blew a couple of airy kisses from her fingertips past the cherry blossoms and then, with her chin in her hands, drifted luxuriously out on a sea of daydreams."

-L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables


Read more quotes by L.M. Montgomery.

Image credit:
Photograph by Ingrid A. Lobo.

Purchase and read Anne of Green Gables:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Book Set by L.M. Montgomery


Created January 13, 2022.

January 08, 2022

When Anne of Green Gables Book Covers Go Bad

Anne of Green Gables book cover featuring Anne Shirley as a blonde.

First published in 1908, L.M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables has been republished many times over the years. The artists who have depicted Anne Shirley on book covers often have a strong grasp of her personality and character. Sometimes these images form the basis for how readers imagine Anne and compliment L.M. Montgomery's text. But other times, Anne of Green Gables book cover designs baffle me and leave me somewhat aghast. Let's look at a few examples:

Anne of Green Gables book cover that looks more like a Lolita cover.

The above Anne of Green Gables book cover is for a 2021 Kindle edition. It gives me Lolita vibes and to me looks nothing like Anne Shirley. I also imagine this Anne tossing her glossy locks, telling everyone that she hates her hair and fishing for compliments while secretly being a hair model influencer.

Anne of Green Gables book cover featuring a headless Anne Shirley.

This above version of Anne of Green Gables (ISBN-13 9781080273300) was independently published in 2019. Let's start with the good: the depiction of nature is nice. Beyond that though, everything puzzles me. Is the young girl in the gaudy dress supposed to be Anne? She's younger than Anne, and the dress is too bright and anachronistic. And why is the girl's face scribbled over? Just to add more green to the cover or to leave her headless? The font choices and colors are odd too.

Pixelated Anne of Green Gables book cover

The version of Anne of Green Gables shown above was independently published as a 2017 Kindle edition. It's a green-hued, pixelated version of a drawing from the 1908 version of Anne of Green Gables depicting, "Thwack! Anne had brought her slate down on Gilbert's head." A new reader might think that they could step into the Matrix with Anne.

Anne of Green Gables book cover featuring Anne Shirley as a blonde.

The above version of Anne of Green Gables was self-published in 2013 through Amazon's CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. This edition of Anne is notorious for its book cover depicting Anne Shirley as a curvaceous blonde. At the time, the cover and the negative response to it by fans made headlines at NPR, CBC, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, CTV News, BuzzFeed News, The Guardian, and The Toronto Star.

Created January 8, 2022.

January 07, 2022

Bibliography of L.M. Montgomery

Book Covers, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery was a Canadian author who wrote works that have been read by millions the world over. She was a prolific writer throughout her lifetime, penning over 20 books, including fictional novels, a volume of poetry, and short story collections. She also wrote a book of essays with collaborating authors. L.M. Montgomery achieved her greatest popular success in creating the character Anne Shirley of the Anne of Green Gables series.

L.M. Montgomery's bibliography of works published during her lifetime is listed below:

L.M. Montgomery's Publications
Date
Anne of Green Gables 1908
Anne of Avonlea1909
Kilmeny of the Orchard1910
The Story Girl1911
Chronicles of Avonlea1912
The Golden Road1913
Anne of the Island 1915
The Watchman and Other Poems   1916
Anne's House of Dreams 1917
Rainbow Valley 1919
Further Chronicles of Avonlea1920
Rilla of Ingleside 1921
Emily of New Moon1923
Emily Climbs1925
The Blue Castle1926
Emily's Quest1927
Magic for Marigold1929
A Tangled Web1931
Pat of Silver Bush1933
Courageous Women   
(Essays written with Marian Keith
and Mabel Burns McKinley)
1934
Mistress Pat1935
Anne of Windy Poplars1936
Jane of Lantern Hill1937
Anne of Ingleside1939


Created September 1, 1999. Re-posted online January 7, 2022. Last updated January 7, 2022.

September 12, 2021

The New York Times Book Review Harshly Reviewed Anne of Green Gables in 1908

Anne of Green Gables book cover

In 1908, after Anne of Green Gables was published, the novel was reviewed by The New York Times Book Review. The book was harshly reviewed by an anonymous reviewer who said the character Anne Shirley, “greatly marred a story that had in it quaint and charming possibilities.”

Personally, one of the first words I think of in describing Anne Shirley is "charming." It's a bit sad that the reviewer missed out on Anne's charms, don't you think?

In 1924, bylines were required for the The New York Times Book Review, and reviewers had less freedom to be callous because they were no longer anonymous. Read more about the unsympathetic reviews written anonymously for The New York Times Book Review prior to 1924 in "When the Book Review Went Really Harsh" by Tina Jordan published in The New York Times on August 27, 2021.


Purchase and read Anne of Green Gables:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Book Set by L.M. Montgomery


Created September 12, 2021.

March 25, 2021

She was sitting there...

Megan Follows as Anne of Green Gables, 1985

"She was sitting there waiting for something or somebody and, since sitting and waiting was the only thing to do just then, she sat and waited with all her might and main."

-L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables


Read more quotes by L.M. Montgomery.

Image credit:

Anne of Green Gables
image © Sullivan Entertainment

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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Book Set by L.M. Montgomery


Created March 25, 2021.