L.M.Montgomery's birth recorded in the Family Bible

It started out a typical rainy, gray morning (7/28/11), so I decided to head into Charlottetown to check out the Lucy Maud Montgomery Institute. After I finally located the library on the UPEI campus (not a small feat!), I almost despaired of being able to see anything–I’ve visited prisons with less security. But, I was able to see photocopies of L.M. Montgomery’s scrapbooks: 7 volumes containing the newspaper and magazine clippings of her short stories and poems. It was overwhelming to say the least. I ended up reading a few here and there and choosing several I liked and thought I could illustrate. I began to despair of seeing anything else, when a Japanese student asked the guard (man on duty) about the institute. He said it is only open by appointment, but if she had a few minutes, he’d bring a few things out. I told him I’d be interested as well. It was definitely worth the wait.

Flyleaf of Further Chronicles of Avonlea explaining the lawsuit

First, he brought out a kimono given to Montgomery by an admirer who’d been to Japan. He also brought her OBE (Order of the British Empire) certificate and medallion and her original poem book. Once he started bringing things out, the librarian warmed up, and we were able to see a veritable tide of L.M. Montgomery items. We saw her family Bible, a letter she wrote a friend at 15 which included a written copy of her first published poem, early signed editions of Emily’s Quest and Anne of Green Gables. We also got to see a copy of Further Chronicles of Avonlea which was the subject of a lawsuit with her American publishers, who had published it without her permission.

Japanese illustrations of Green Gables

Finally, he brought out some other editions of Anne of Green Gables including many Japanese Editions, Italian, and Swedish published Arabic editions. One thing he pointed out was the amazing artistry in the Japanese edition. They actually took the time to visit the Island and capture the scenery, while the publishers from New York and Toronto (substantially closer) didn’t bother. In the end, he gave me his card and told me to contact him when I’m coming back and he can pull out a few more things to show me, so we’ll see how that goes.
After a late lunch, I got the girls dressed up and headed out to take some scenic shots with them, we started at Dalvay by the Sea and worked our way back in time for sunset on our own beach, which was quite nice. Tomorrow, I think we’re heading to Avonlea Village.

Catch the sun