Launch of Two L.M. Montgomery-Related Books: “L.M. Montgomery and Gender” and “The Summer Trade” (with MaudCast links)

Hi folks, I wanted to share a book launch announcement. This is a very local event–both in content and location–celebrating two quite different new books:

  • L.M. Montgomery and Gender, edited by E. Holly Pike and Laura M. Robinson
  • The Summer Trade: A History of Tourism on Prince Edward Island, co-written by Alan MacEachern and Edward MacDonald

Anyone who has visited Prince Edward Island–and almost anyone who would like to do so–will know how important L.M. Montgomery is to wee little Prince Edward Island’s slow emergence to becoming one of the great travel destination stops in the hemisphere. And anyone who has read Montgomery’s novels will know how rich a conversation about gender would be. After all, Montgomery’s career as a world-famous author begins with “You don’t want me because I’m not a boy!”

The launch itself is also a local one–and coming on the eve of the L.M. Montgomery Institute’s 15th Biennial International Conference at the University of Prince Edward Island this week. The launch is in the Faculty Lounge (SDU Main), Tuesday, Jun 21, 2022, 7:00pm. Many thanks to the Bookmark–our local superhero independent bookstore that is so invested in supporting local authors and culture–and McGill-Queen’s University Press, with a long history of publishing innovative and collaborative L.M. Montgomery scholarship.

So while this is a local event about local materials, I have had the privilege to interview three of these featured authors on these new books on the MaudCast. For those who don’t know, the MaudCast is the podcast of the L.M. Montgomery Institute, which is hosting this week’s conference. I love hosting the MaudCast because of its dedication to having conversations about innovation Montgomery-related scholarship and artistry.

Just ahead of the book’s launch, I sat down with Laura Robinson and E. Holly Pike for MaudCast S02E02. I had a great conversation with these two Atlantic Canadian L.M. Montgomery scholars and their labour of longsuffering love in producing the richly edited volume, L.M. Montgomery and Gender. Beyond discussion about some of the thoughtful essays in the collection, Holly and Laura were very patient and even playful with my questions about Montgomery and gender–with a particular moment about “what L.M. Montgomery is doing to us as readers.” It was a great conversation with huge possibilities.

In MaudCast S02E05 this spring, I interviewed historian of place, Alan MacEachern. I wanted to talk to Alan about his new tourism history book, The Summer Tradeco-written with UPEI professor Ed MacDonald, whose office down the hallway is always haunted by students with great questions. And I spent some time in the podcast talking about Alan’s role as this year’s L.M. Montgomery Institute Visiting Scholar, finishing with Alan’s current research project on the diary of Myrtle Webb. He is hoping to bring to life the story of the family that lived at the home that inspired the “Green Gables” in Montgomery’s iconic Anne books.

I hope you enjoy the podcasts. The books are, of course, available wherever fine books are sold. And here is the local announcement for the event:

Book Launch – The Summer Trade and L.M. Montgomery and Gender

Tuesday Jun 21 2022 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Join us for the dual launch of The Summer Trade: A History of Tourism on Prince Edward Island by Alan MacEachern and Edward MacDonald and L.M. Montgomery and Gender edited by E. Holly Pike and Laura M. Robinson.

The launch will take place in the Faculty Lounge of SDU Main Building at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Sponsored by Bookmark and McGill-Queen’s University Press.

About the books:

The Summer Trade: A History of Tourism on Prince Edward Island by Alan MacEachern and Edward MacDonald
Tourism has been a central part of Prince Edward Island’s identity for more than a century. What began as a seasonal sideline in the nineteenth century evolved into an economic powerhouse that now attracts over 1.5 million visitors each year, employs one in ten Islanders, and is the province’s second leading industry. Spanning from the Victorian era to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Summer Trade presents the first comprehensive history of tourism in any Canadian province. Over time the Island has marketed a remarkably durable set of tourism tropes – seaside refuge from urban industrial angst, return to innocence, literary shrine to L.M. Montgomery, cradle of Confederation, garden of the Gulf. As private enterprise and the state sought to manage the industry, the Island’s own identity became caught up in the wish fulfillment of its summer visitors. The result has been a complicated, sometimes conflicted relationship between Islanders and tourism, between a warm welcome to visitors and resistance to the industry’s adverse effects on local culture. Lavishly illustrated with postcards, tourist guides, and memorabilia, The Summer Trade also presents a history of Prince Edward Island in cameo that tracks cultural, economic, political, and environmental developments and tensions. Across the strait, the Island beckons.

L.M. Montgomery and Gender edited by E. Holly Pike and Laura M. Robinson.
The celebrated author of Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon receives much-deserved additional consideration in L.M. Montgomery and Gender. Nineteen contributors take a variety of critical and theoretical positions, from historical analyses of the White Feather campaign and discussions of adoption to medical discourses of death and disease, explorations of Montgomery’s use of humour, and the author’s rewriting of masculinist traditions. The essays span Montgomery’s writing, exploring her famous Anne and Emily books as well as her short fiction, her comic journal composed with her friend Nora Lefurgey, and less-studied novels such as Magic for Marigold and The Blue Castle. Dividing the chapters into five sections – on masculinities and femininities, domestic space, humour, intertexts, and being in time – L.M. Montgomery and Gender addresses the degree to which Montgomery’s work engages and exposes, reflects and challenges the gender roles around her, underscoring how her writing has shaped future representations of gender. Of interest to historians, feminists, gender scholars, scholars of literature, and Montgomery enthusiasts, this wide-ranging collection builds on the depth of current scholarship in its approach to the complexity of gender in the works of one of Canada’s best-loved authors.

About the Authors:

Alan MacEachern is professor of history at the University of Western Ontario and has written widely on Canadian environmental history.

Edward MacDonald is professor of history at the University of Prince Edward Island and coeditor of several edited collections on environmental history of Atlantic Canada.

E. Holly Pike, former associate professor of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland, is co-editor, with Laura M. Robinson, of L.M. Montgomery and Gender.

Laura M. Robinson is dean of arts and professor of English and theatre, cross-appointed women’s and gender studies at Acadia University.

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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