The final volume of The L.M. Montgomery Reader, A Legacy in Review examines a long overlooked portion of Montgomery’s critical reception: reviews of her books. Although Montgomery downplayed the impact that reviews had on her writing career, claiming to be amused and tolerant of reviewers’ contradictory opinions about her work, she nevertheless cared enough to keep a large percentage of them in scrapbooks as an archive of her career.
Edited by leading Montgomery scholar Benjamin Lefebvre, this volume presents more than four hundred reviews from eight countries that raise questions about and offer reflections on gender, genre, setting, character, audience, and nationalism, much of which anticipated the scholarship that has thrived in the last four decades. Lefebvre’s extended introduction and chapter headnotes place the reviews in the context of Montgomery’s literary career and trace the evolution of attitudes to her work, and his epilogue examines the reception of Montgomery’s books that were published posthumously.
A comprehensive account of the reception of Montgomery’s books, published during and after her lifetime, A Legacy in Review is the illuminating final volume of this important new resource for L.M. Montgomery scholars and fans around the world.
‘Lefebvre’s overall achievement in this Reader series is a masterful compilation of archival adeptness and exquisite editing that addresses, through collation, crucial source materials for specialists in Canadian literature and history.’
‘Lefebvre’s archival research is thorough and often brilliant, making the Reader an invaluable trove not only for Montgomery scholars but also for those working with the reception history of Canadian writers.’
“Lefebvre has uncovered a cache of new, important material in an already impressive and crowded field of Montgomery scholarship.”
“Now that it is complete, The L.M. Montgomery Reader is sure to be the authoritative source on Montgomery’s critical and popular reception as a bestselling author. Benjamin Lefebvre has devoted many years to the Reader, and one cannot imagine anyone better suited for the work.”
“Lefebvre has thoroughly mined earlier scholars’ bibliographies and online newspaper archives to find reviews in periodicals from eight different countries, including the Bookman (London), the Globe (Toronto) and Vogue (New York). . . . Collectively, these reviews . . . represent a superb barometer of [Montgomery’s] fluctuating cultural value as a writer.”