L.M. Montgomery was an incredibly creative person and this creativity had more than one outlet. Most people are familiar with her writing, and the fact that she wrote in her journal daily for most of her life. But, did you know that Montgomery was also an avid scrapbooker? In fact, she kept her scrapbooks as meticulously as she kept her journals.
There are six personal scrapbooks in total, and the first two are from her years on Prince Edward Island. They are full of souvenirs, newspaper clippings, magazine photos, fabrics, and even pressed flowers. She carefully organized, arranged, and often rearranged these items according to her fancy.
These scrapbooks offer a rare glimpse into L.M. Montgomery’s colourful world. Not only do we get a glimpse into Montgomery’s world, but also the world of a woman navigating the turn of the nineteenth century. The books are laden with fabrics, fashions (including the ever popular puffed sleeves), the pompadour hairstyles, and the overall elegance and sensibility that these women aspired to. This makes them an invaluable historical resource for those studying what life would be like during the turn of the century.
Unfortunately, scrapbooks are difficult to preserve. Even Montgomery worried that her scrapbooks were beginning to fall apart. When they were on display many items became lost or damaged in the process. That’s why Elizabeth Rollins Epperly decided to digitally preserve what remained of these scrapbooks.
In Imagining Anne, Epperly explores the way that Montgomery used her Blue and Red Scrapbook (from Montgomery’s girlhood and early womanhood) as a resource for Anne of Green Gables. According to Epperly, “uncovering some of the stories connecting the images is like deciphering clues in a mystery; sleuthing is rewarded by a new appreciation for the lively, gifted imagination of an author who has given the world the classic Anne of Green Gables and more than a century of reading pleasure.”
Perhaps you can decipher some of the clues to Montgomery’s life, and for more items related to her you can visit Shop At Sullivan!