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Biography & Autobiography Literary

Becoming Green Gables

The Diary of Myrtle Webb and Her Famous Farmhouse

by (author) Alan MacEachern

Publisher
McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2024
Category
Literary, Atlantic Provinces (NB, NL, NS, PE)
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780228023487
    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price
    $29.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780228021490
    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price
    $29.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780228021483
    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price
    $110.00

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Description

In 1909 Myrtle and Ernest Webb took possession of an ordinary farm in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. Ordinary but for one thing: it was already becoming known as inspiration for Anne of Green Gables, the novel written by Myrtle’s cousin Lucy Maud Montgomery and published to international acclaim a year earlier. The Webbs welcomed visitors to “Green Gables” and soon took in summer boarders, making their home the heart of PEI’s tourist trade. In the 1930s the farm was made the centrepiece of a new national park – and still the family lived there for another decade, caretakers of their own home.

During these years Myrtle kept a diary. When she first picked up the pencil in 1924, she was a forty-year-old homemaker running a household of eight. By the time she set the pencil down in 1954, she was a seventy-year-old widow, no longer resident in what was now the most famous house in Canada. Becoming Green Gables tells the story of Myrtle Webb and her family, and the making of Green Gables. Alan MacEachern reproduces a selection of the diary’s daily entries, using them as springboards to examine topics ranging from the adoption of modern conveniences to the home front hosting of soldiers in wartime and visits from “Aunt Maud” herself.

While the foundation of Becoming Green Gables is the Webbs’ own story, it is also a history of their famous home, their community, the nation, and the world in which they lived.

About the author

Claire Campbell is an associate professor in the Department of History and the Coordinator of Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University. She is the author of Shaped by the West Wind: Nature and History in Georgian Bay and co-editor of Groundtruthing: Canada and the Environment, a special issue of the Dalhousie Review.

Alan MacEachern's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Humorous in some places and a tearjerker in others, Becoming Green Gables captures an untold story about the famed Green Gables and home-grown tourism prior to the founding of the national park.” Catharine Anne Wilson, author of Being Neighbours: Cooperative Work and Rural Culture, 1830–1960

Becoming Green Gables provides an appreciation of the complex grassroots history of one of Canada’s most beloved historical sites.” Melanie J. Fishbane, author of Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery

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