Recently, I was privileged to sit down with Carolyn Strom Collins for an interview about her work. Carolyn is an author and independent scholar, having written and edited books and articles on L.M. Montgomery (you can see her Montgomery Studies bibliography here), as well as companion books on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. She founded The L.M. Montgomery Literary Society, which through three decades has grown to include a huge wealth of Montgomery resources, including dozens of Carolyn’s own articles in The Shining Scroll–a literary periodical that highlights Montgomery’s writerly ambitions (which I talk a little about discovering here, though the story is already in the Society’s many pages):
Then whisper, blossom, in thy sleep
How I may upward climb
The Alpine Path, so hard, so steep,
That leads to heights sublime.
How I may reach that far-off goal
Of true and honoured fame
And write upon its shining scroll
A woman’s humble name.
Carolyn models collaborative writing and editing, often working with leading scholars like Christy Woster and Mary Beth Cavert. She also founded the Friends of the L.M. Montgomery Institute, which sponsors this podcast. Beyond a trilogy of treasuries that I discuss in the podcast interview, Carolyn and her editorial partner, the late Christy Woster, published After Many Years: Twenty-one “Long-Lost” Stories by L. M. Montgomery. Carolyn has also done practical resource work for scholars, like An Annotated Bibliography of L. M. Montgomery’s Stories and Poems (2016) and A Guide to L.M. Montgomery’s Story and Poem Scrapbooks 1890–1940: Stories and Poems Published in Periodicals and Preserved by L.M. Montgomery in Twelve Scrapbooks (2016)–a sufficiently prodigious title!
Carolyn is obviously an important figure in Montgomery studies. But as someone who loves to spend time in the archives, what I especially wanted to talk to Carolyn about was her brilliant publication last year, Anne of Green Gables: The Original Manuscript. This episode is a little bit longer than normal as Carolyn joins me to chat in detail about archival research and that most iconic of early 20th-century novels, Anne of Green Gables.
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