Imagining Anne

The Island Scrapbooks Of L.M. Montgomery

Edited by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly

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Nimbus Publishing’s new edition of Imagining Anne: The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery will be launched on July 25, from 2:30–3:30 pm , in the Robertson Library at the University of Prince Edward Island , when Elizabeth Epperly will speak about the book and sign copies. Montgomery treasures, from the L.M. Montgomery Institute and Robertson Library, will be on display. All are welcome.

The world may know L.M. Montgomery as an author—but many do not know her as an ardent scrapbooker.  She collected items from everyday life (pressed flowers, souvenirs, cats’ fur, advertisements) and created colourful mixed media collages. Looking at the pages, readers may learn something about her times—when line drawings and hand-coloured plates entertained audiences—and also about her thoughtful choices and creative processes. What did the imaginative young writer preserve? What adventures did she commemorate and dramatize?  Elizabeth Epperly, founder of the L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI, serves as a guide through the scrapbooks, suggesting stories hidden and revealed among the vibrant images.

Montgomery mined her scrapbooks for material and even altered them over the years. In 1905, outlining and writing Anne of Green Gables, she turned to her own colourful arrangements and found puffed sleeves, school girl antics, passion for nature, hints of romance, and traces of genuine heartache all registered. She continued to create personal scrapbooks until just a few years before her death, but these early Island scrapbooks are the liveliest and most personally revealing, roughly covering the mid 1890s to mid 1910, showing a young creative artist at thoughtful play and a mature artist, internationally successful, considering her past and future.

Imagining Anne is made possible through the partnering of the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery, Inc., the Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace Trust, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, the L.M. Montgomery Institute, and Elizabeth Epperly.