June 30, 2008

100th Anniversary Anne of Green Gables Stamps

100th Anniversary Anne of Green Gables Stamps Issued by Canada Post and Japan Post

On June 20, 2008, Canada Post and Japan Post jointly released special Anne of Green Gables stamps on the 100th anniversary of the publication of L.M. Montgomery's novel. The dreamy portrait of Anne Shirley is by Ben Stahl, and the painting of the iconic Green Gables house is by Christopher Kovacs. The sweet animated drawings of Anne Shirley, Matthew Cuthbert, Diana Barry, Gilbert Blythe, and Marilla Cuthbert are from the anime series Anne of Green Gables (1979) aka Akage no An by Nippon Animation, which was part of the World Masterpiece Theater series.

Canada Post also issued a souvenir sheet with a set of two 52¢ Anne of Green Gables stamps to commemorate the occasion with artwork by Ben Stahl and Christopher Kovacs.

100th Anniversary Anne of Green Gables Stamps Issued by Canada Post

The following wonderful article was published by Canada Post upon the release of the stamps with biographical information on L.M. Montgomery, a description of her beloved Prince Edward Island, and details on the artwork, digital illustration, and stamp design:

Issued: June 20, 2008

Article published in

Canada's Stamp Details (Vol. XVII No 2; April to June 2008)

It's hard to believe that the irrepressible Anne Shirley might have lain hidden in a hat box forever. When Lucy Maud Montgomery completed her first novel in 1905, she received several rejections from publishers, so she put the story away. But Anne, with characteristic persistence, must have tugged at her imagination. A few years later, Montgomery retrieved the novel and sent it out again. Anne of Green Gables was finally published in Boston in 1908, to immediate success.

One hundred years later, Anne and her story are featured on a pair of domestic rate (52¢) stamps issued by Canada Post to celebrate the novel's centennial. The stamp images are based on original artwork officially authorized by The heirs of Lucy Maud Montgomery and the Anne of Green Gables Licensing Authority Inc. The painting of Anne was created by Ben Stahl, and that of her beloved Green Gables house by Christopher Kovacs.

"Anne is such a unique character, so full of life and so inspired by nature," says designer Dennis Page. "These paintings represent her story well-the images are surrounded by nature, and Anne appears lost in her thoughts."

Anne's name, he notes, is printed on the stamps in a typeface as personal and expressive as she is. Page also worked with digital illustrator Mike Little on a unique frame for the two images, which serves as a subtle reminder that Anne's famous story is actually a work of fiction. "The stamp frames are meant to resemble the pages of a book printed in 1908, with deckle edges and an original look and feel."

Even Montgomery said she never felt quite truthful admitting that this vibrant red-headed girl was indeed a fictional character. Although Anne of Green Gables was her first novel, Montgomery had been writing poems and stories since childhood, inspired by her life on Prince Edward Island. Born in 1874, she was not even two when her mother died of tuberculosis and she was sent to live with her grandparents in Cavendish, a town later made famous as Avonlea. She grew up immersed in nature and Anne's scenic descriptions of Avonlea are drawn from Montgomery's own experiences of living in Cavendish where she was enchanted by the orchards, woods and beaches. Montgomery once wrote, "Everything was invested with a kind of fairy grace and charm, emanating from my own fancy, the trees that whispered nightly around the old house where I slept, the woodsy nooks I explored, the homestead fields, each individualized by some oddity or fence or shape, the sea whose murmur was never out of my ears - all were radiant with 'the glory and the dream'...amid all the commonplaces of life, I was very near to a kingdom of ideal beauty."1 Montgomery continued writing while training and working briefly as a teacher, and was earning a comfortable income from her published work even before the success of Anne of Green Gables. Eventually she married and moved to Ontario, but her heart and imagination stayed on the Island.

The house known as Green Gables is now a national historic site, with an operational period-style post office. Montgomery never actually lived there, but it was home to relatives, and she often explored the surrounding property. The setting clearly inspired her-the landscape near Cavendish is as vivid a character in her books as any other. To recognize this special place as uniquely Canadian, the souvenir sheet bears a maple leaf die perforation between the two stamps.

The Cavendish connection is featured on a souvenir sheet official first day cover (OFDC), and on two additional OFDCs, each bearing double cancels-one real (Cavendish PE) and one fictional (Avonlea PE).

Anne has captured the imaginations of girls around the world and her story has a special history for many Japanese. Anne first arrived in Japan in the 1930s with Canadian missionary Loretta Shaw. When Shaw left the country at the start of the Second World War, she gave a copy of the novel to her friend Hanako Muraoka, who translated it as Akage no An, literally "Anne of the Red Hair". After the war ended, Japanese education officials were eager to introduce children to Western texts, and Muraoka suggested the novel. In 1952, it was included in the school curriculum, and it has been well loved by generations of students ever since. Today, thousands of Japanese travel to Cavendish each year to visit Anne's fictional home.

Despite its distinctly Canadian setting, Anne of Green Gables belongs to the world. The story has captured the imaginations of readers in many languages and countries. "In Japan, readers have formed a fan club called the 'Buttercups,' named for Anne's favourite flower," says Joy Parks, Research Officer, Stamp Services, at Canada Post. Buttercups appear on the floral envelope seals included with the stamp booklet, part of a collection of flowers reproduced from the paintings depicted on the stamps. Like the wildflowers that return to bloom each spring, Anne lives on in the imagination of her readers, as real today as when she was first published.

Additional information is available on the following websites:
www.gov.pe.ca/lmm
www.lmmontgomery.ca

1 Stan Sauerwein, Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Incredible Life of the Creator of Anne of Green Gables (Canmore, Alberta: Altitude Publishing Canada Ltd.) 2004, p. 22-23.


Created June 30, 2008. Re-posted online November 18, 2022. Last Updated January 20, 2024.

October 02, 2007

Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner

Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner by L.M. Montgomery (1907)
After spending many hours searching through microfiche in my university's library, I rediscovered an 100-year-old short story by L.M. Montgomery. The story is called "Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner," and you can read it here exclusively. "Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner" was originally published in 1907 in The Housewife, the year before Anne of Green Gables was published. To my knowledge this story has never been republished since.

The story is about four sisters: Laura, Kate, Margaret, and Agnes, who narrates the tale. Each girl has her own ambitions. Laura wants to be an artist, Kate plays the violin, Margaret wants to get a college education, and Agnes wants to be a writer. Aunt Susanna faintly approves of Margaret's desire for an education, but disapproves of the artistic, musical, and literary goals of her other three nieces. The sisters try to please Aunt Susanna, hoping their wealthy aunt will send Margaret to college.

The story begins when Aunt Susanna arrives at her nieces's home. She's full of criticism, but also needs a favor. She is in a bind, and must travel from town to visit a sick relative. She needs the girls to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for her and Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert upon their return home. Agnes has just told Aunt Susanna that she's a good cook, so she feels she must agree to prepare the meal. With trepidation, Agnes says she will cook dinner, and Kate volunteers to help her.

Despite the their best efforts, Agnes and Kate's Thanksgiving preparations turn out to be a disaster. Will they be able to save Thanksgiving and win Aunt Susanna's approval?

Read the original scanned story text below or download a PDF version here:

Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner by L.M. Montgomery (1907)

Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner by L.M. Montgomery (1907)

Updated to add: Long after I posted this story on my website, it was gathered into another collection online.

Reference:
Montgomery, L.M. (1907, November). Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner. The Housewife. pages 5 and 14.

Created October 2, 2007. Re-posted online November 24, 2022. Last updated November 24, 2022

January 21, 2007

Anne of Windy Poplars (1940) Screening

Anne of Windy Poplars (1940) film poster featuring Patric Knowles and Anne Shirley

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City is showcasing a film exhibition called "A View from the Vaults: Warner Bros., RKO Pictures, and First National Pictures, Inc." from February 9–24, 2007. This exhibition includes a screening of Anne of Windy Poplars (1940) on Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 3:45 p.m.

The film series includes a "selection of ten enduring films produced by Warner Bros., RKO Pictures, and First National Pictures, Inc., from 1938 through 1949. These films were all recently acquired by the Museum."

"A View from the Vaults" is organized by Anne Morra, the Assistant Curator in the Department of Film.

Here are the descriptions of the 10 featured films:

Jezebel. 1938. USA. Directed by William Wyler. Screenplay by Clements Ripley, Abem Finkel, John Huston, based on the play by Owen Davis. With Bette Davis, Henry Fonda. Davis won an Oscar for her iconic portrayal of Julie Marsden, a woman whose assertion of independence is tragically misunderstood in 1850s New Orleans. Larger than life, Julie sets out to win back her lost social standing—but only on her own terms. 104 min. Friday, February 9, 5:45; Saturday, February 17, 6:00. T1

Gunga Din. 1939. USA. Directed by George Stevens. Screenplay by Joel Sayre, Fred Guiol, based on a story by Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur, adapted from the poem “Gunga Din” by Rudyard Kipling. With Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen. This account of the tragicomic exploits of three members of the French Foreign Legion and their fight against the corrupt Guru in India was voted to the National Film Registry in 1999. 117 min. Saturday, February 10, 1:30; Wednesday, February 21, 6:00. T1

Anne of Windy Poplars. 1940. USA. Directed by Jack Hively. Screenplay by Michael Kanin, Jerry Cady, based on the novel by L. M. Montgomery. With Anne Shirley, Patric Knowles. A follow-up to Anne of Green Gables (1934), this film follows a grown-up Anne as she moves to the remote Canadian town of Pringleton and builds a new life as a teacher at a small provincial school. 86 min. Saturday, February 10, 3:45. T1

They Drive by Night. 1940. USA. Directed by Raoul Walsh. Screenplay by Jerry Wald, Richard Macaulay, based on the novel The Long Haul by Albert Isaac Bezzerides. With George Raft, Ida Lupino. Brothers Joe and Paul Fabrini haul produce from farms in northern California to Los Angeles. They refuse to drive for anyone else, and attempts are made to intimidate them into joining a ruthless competitor’s business. 95 min. Saturday, February 10, 5:30; Monday, February 19, 8:30. T1

The Man Who Came to Dinner. 1942. USA. Directed by William Keighley. Screenplay by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, based on the play by George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart. With Monty Woolley, Bette Davis. Radio personality Sheridan Whiteside slips and falls on an icy sidewalk in front of the home of a prominent Ohio family. With a broken leg, he cannot be moved—and soon the meddlesome Whiteside is interfering with the lives of his hosts. 113 min. Sunday, February 11, 5:00; Monday, February 19, 6:00. T1

Action in the North Atlantic. 1943. USA. Directed by Lloyd Bacon. Screenplay by John Howard Lawson, based on the story “Heroes without Uniform” by Guy Gilpatric. With Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey. In this WWII thriller, Lieutenant Joe Rossi (Bogart) must navigate through enemy-filled waters on the perilous journey from Halifax to Murmansk. 128 min. Monday, February 12, 6:00; Saturday, February 24, 2:00. T1

The Corn Is Green. 1945. USA. Directed by Irving Rapper. Screenplay by Casey Robinson, Frank Cavett, based on the play by Emlyn Williams. With Bette Davis, Nigel Bruce. Schoolteacher Lily Moffat is determined to change the primitive education system in her tiny Welsh mining town. The townsfolk oppose her innovative pedagogy, but they cannot deter Lily from her efforts. 114 min. Monday, February 12, 8:30; Friday, February 16, 5:45. T1

Murder, My Sweet. 1945. USA. Directed by Edward Dmytryk. Screenplay by John Paxton, based on the novel Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. With Dick Powell, Claire Trevor. Private eye Philip Marlowe is hired to find the missing girlfriend of an ex-convict. This must-see thriller, steeped in film noir atmosphere, features the disappearance of a dame and some dirty double-crossing—not to mention the iconic stature of Marlowe himself. 95 min. Wednesday, February 14, 6:00; Saturday, February 17, 2:00. T1

Flamingo Road. 1949. USA. Directed by Michael Curtiz. Screenplay by Robert Wilder, Edmund H. North, based on the play by Robert Wilder, Sally Wilder. With Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott. Crawford plays Lane Bellamy, a woman with an unfavorable reputation who attempts to climb the social ladder in a sinister Southern town run by a corrupt political boss. 94 min. Wednesday, February 14, 8:00; Saturday, February 17, 4:00. T1

Mighty Joe Young. 1949. USA. Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack. Screenplay by Ruth Rose, based on a story by Merian C. Cooper. With Robert Armstrong, Terry Moore. For twelve years Jill Young has tenderly nurtured her pet gorilla Joe in Tanzania. When a Hollywood promoter arrives and convinces Jill to bring Joe to Tinseltown, the trouble begins. Winner of the 1950 Academy Award for Best Special Effects. 94 min. Thursday, February 15, 6:00; Wednesday, February 21, 8:30. T1

Please visit the MOMA website for further details.

Thank you to Julia Crimmins for sending along this news.

Image credit:
Anne of Windy Poplars (1940) film poster featuring Patric Knowles and Anne Shirley, RKO Pictures.

Created January 21, 2007. Re-posted online June 9, 2022. Last updated June 9, 2022.

January 15, 2007

Anne of Green Gables Valentines - Set 2

Here's a second set of Anne of Green Gables Valentines to give to your kindred spirits, friends, classmates, and loved ones. Save the Anne-inspired Valentines shown below. Then print the Valentine cards out on cardstock paper in landscape mode, cut them out, and share them!

Anne of Green Gables Valentines - Set 2 by World of Anne Shirley

To design this set of Anne of Green Gables Valentines, I used images from Sullivan Entertainment's Anne of Green Gables (1985) and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987), Nippon Animation's Anne of Green Gables (1979) aka Akage No An, the 1934 Anne of Green Gables film, and Anne & Gilbert: The Musical.

Download and print more Anne of Green Gables Valentines here: Set 1, Set 3, and Set 4.

Created January 15, 2007, Re-posted online January 23, 2024. Last updated January 26, 2024.

October 26, 2006

Penguin Group (Canada) to Become the Official Book Publisher of L.M. Montgomery 100th Anniversary Editions

Anne of Green Gables 1908 book cover


Penguin Group (Canada) to become the official book publisher of L.M. Montgomery 100th Anniversary Editions


Press Release

TORONTO - Penguin Group (Canada) announced yesterday it will undertake a major Canadian and international publishing program in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Anne of Green Gables, including publication of an official prequel, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the book's original publication in 1908.

To further celebrate this significant anniversary, Penguin will publish a special collectible 100th anniversary edition of Anne of Green Gables, featuring the original cover art of M.A. Claus and W.A.J. Claus.

A third project, Imagining Anne: The Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery will bring to life Montgomery's own thoughts and interests using selected pages from her own scrapbooks from the years 1893 to 1908, covering her time as a college student, teacher and writer, and the years in which she created the character of Anne Shirley, leading to the publication of Anne of Green Gables in 1908.

The significance of the souvenirs and clippings Montgomery collected will be explained by Elizabeth Epperly, Ph.D., professor of English at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) and the founder of the L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI.

Imagining Anne will be a full-colour giftbook, releasing in March 2008.

Penguin holds world rights in all languages to both the prequel and the scrapbook.

The prequel, Before Green Gables, which tells the story of Anne's early life in foster homes and an orphanage in Nova Scotia, will be written by Governor General's Literary Award finalist Budge Wilson.

Budge Wilson has published twenty-nine books in more than 10 countries and her stories have been included in over 90 anthologies, including the first Journey Prize Anthology.

Her many awards include nineteen Canadian Children's Book Centre "Our Choice" awards, the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Award, the Marianna Dempster Award, the Ann Connor Brimer Award, the Lilla Stirling Award and the City of Dartmouth Book Award.

Her latest book, Friendships, is a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award.

Wilson offered the following comments: "When Penguin asked me to write this prequel, I was faced with an enormous challenge."

"But it was this challenge that made me want to write the book," Wilson said.

"Given the appalling deprivation and emotional starvation of Anne's years in the Thomas and Hammond households and during her four agonized months in the orphanage, one is mystified as to how she became the person she was when she made her first journey to Green Gables with Matthew Cuthbert," she said.

"How could she have become so vibrant a person, so talkative, so articulate, so optimistic, so full of extravagant dreams?"

"This was the enticing puzzle that drew me into the project."

Wilson will spend several chapters getting to know Anne's parents and will bring other people into the story who will introduce Anne to the magic of words and literature, the possibilities for solace and joy in an active imagination, and the experience of giving and receiving love.

"I will, of course, try to be true to the astonishing character that Lucy Maud Montgomery created," said Wilson.

"For this, I am grateful to her."

"But I would not - in fact, could not - presume to tell my part of Anne's history in Montgomery's voice."

"I will do this in my own voice, hoping that she would approve of the project if she were alive today." Penguin is delighted to have the full support of the heirs of L.M. Montgomery and will work in co-operation with the family to create an exciting national marketing plan to make 2008 especially memorable as the year of Anne and of L.M. Montgomery.

L. M. Montgomery's grandson David Macdonald, speaking for the family, said, "We are delighted that Penguin have undertaken to publish a prequel to Anne of Green Gables for 2008 and have selected respected author Budge Wilson to write Before Green Gables.

"We think she is a terrific choice," Macdonald said.

He continued, "It's an added bonus that Budge Wilson like Anne, comes from Nova Scotia."

"I think my grandmother would have thought it appropriate for an author who grew up in Nova Scotia to write about Anne's life before she came to Prince Edward Island and Green Gables."

Commissioning editor Helen Reeves commented on the tremendous opportunity presented by the 100th anniversary, saying, "The character of Anne Shirley continues to be loved around the world."

"Growing up in the UK, I read all the Anne books and it's tremendously exciting to see a different part of Anne's story brought to life by one of Canada's most celebrated contemporary writers," Reeves said.

"We look forward to 2008 with great anticipation," she said.

Founded in 1974 as a distribution company for Penguin books from all over the world, Penguin Group (Canada) began publishing Canadian and international titles in 1977, and quickly became known as one of Canada's pre-eminent publishers of literary, thought-provoking fiction, and non-fiction.

Penguin is internationally recognized as the world's predominant publisher of classic literature; in Canada publishing both modern classics and black classics, including works by Susanna Moodie, Stephen Leacock and L.M. Montgomery.

Created October 26, 2006, Re-posted online January 30, 2024. Last updated January 30, 2024.

July 26, 2006

Anne of Green Gables Christmas Ornament

On my honeymoon on Prince Edward Island, I bought this Anne of Green Gables Christmas ornament to hang on my Christmas tree. It's a little straw hat with red braids attached.

Anne of Green Gables Christmas Ornament

If you can't make it to PEI, there's a similar Christmas ornament available here.

Created July 26, 2006, Re-posted online January 25, 2024. Last updated January 25, 2024.

September 03, 2005

Anne of Green Gables U-Haul Truck

Photograph of a Prince Edward Island - Anne of Green Gables U-Haul truck

When I opened my front door today, I found this Anne of Green Gables U-Haul truck parked right outside my apartment. I took this photograph of it from my doorstep.

The under the illustration of Anne and Green Gables, the side of the truck reads:

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
HOME OF THE LEGENDARY ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
FOYER DE LA LÉGENDAIRE «ANNE DE LA MAISON AUX PIGNONS VERTS»

Seeing the truck made me smile. It's always nice to have a reminder of Prince Edward Island and Anne Shirley.

Here's a crisper view of the Anne Shirley graphic art from the U-Haul website:

Prince Edward Island - Anne of Green Gables U-Haul truck graphic


Created September 3, 2005. Re-posted online June 10, 2022. Last updated June 10, 2022.

June 27, 2005

Anne of Green Gables Miniature Diorama

Blind Box containing a Little Anime Series World Masterpiece Theater miniature diorama featuring Anne of Green Gables, 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother, Rascal the Raccoon, A Dog of Flanders, or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

My boyfriend gave me a blind box, which he spotted while traveling in Seattle. It's from the "Little Anime Series World Masterpiece Theater" collection. Each box contains a miniature diorama from one of five World Masterpiece Theater anime series produced by Nippon Animation. One of the anime series included is Anne of Green Gables (Akage no An). Knowing that I love Anne of Green Gables, my boyfriend bought a box for me and hoped for the best. Lucky for me, my box contained the Anne of Green Gables scene.

This blind box collection was manufactured by MegaHouse in 2003. The five World Masterpiece Theater series included in the collection are: Anne of Green Gables (1979), 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (1976), Rascal the Raccoon (1977), A Dog of Flanders (1975), and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1980). The scenes for the five series are depicted on the sides of the blind box and on the insert inside the box (pictured below):

The five World Masterpiece Theater series included in the collection are: Anne of Green Gables (1979), 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (1976), Rascal the Raccoon (1977), A Dog of Flanders (1975), and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1980).

Insert showing the five World Masterpiece Theater series collections.

Inside the red box was a pink case that looked like a tiny book:

Little Anime Series World Masterpiece Theater inner case

A brown plastic box, designed to look like wood, slides out of the pink case:

Plastic box containing the Little Anime Series World Masterpiece Theater diorama

Opening the box reveals the eight items shown below: the Green Gables kitchen, Matthew's couch and shoes, the Green Gables kitchen table, a bowl, a pair of birds, and three characters: Matthew Cuthbert, Marilla Cuthbert, and Anne Shirley:

Items contained in the Anne of Green Gables miniature diorama

Here's a closer view of Matthew Cuthbert (who's asleep), Marilla Cuthbert, and Anne Shirley (carrying a layered cake):

Closer view of the Matthew Cuthbert, Marilla Cuthbert, and Anne Shirley characters in the Anne of Green Gables miniature diorama

Here are a few views of the Anne of Green Gables diorama with Matthew asleep on his couch, Marilla bustling about the kitchen, and Anne carrying a lovely layered cake (that hopefully is flavored with vanilla instead of liniment):

Miniature Little Anime Series World Masterpiece Theater diorama scene showing Matthew Cuthbert, Marilla Cuthbert, and Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables

Miniature Little Anime Series World Masterpiece Theater diorama scene showing Matthew Cuthbert, Marilla Cuthbert, and Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables

Here's a close-up view of the Green Gables diorama:

Miniature Little Anime Series World Masterpiece Theater diorama scene showing Matthew Cuthbert, Marilla Cuthbert, and Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables

Created June 27, 2005. Re-posted online with new photos and content January 20, 2024.