The Blythes Are Quoted

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The Blythes Are Quoted
TheBlythesAreQuoted.jpg
First edition
Author Lucy Maud Montgomery
Country Canada
Language English
Series Anne of Green Gables
Publisher Viking Canada
Publication date
2009
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 524 pp.
ISBN 978-0-670-06391-8
OCLC 427676496

The Blythes Are Quoted is a book completed by L.M. Montgomery near the end of her life as the ninth book in her beloved Anne of Green Gables series. It consists of an experimental blend of 15 short stories, 41 poems, and numerous vignettes featuring Anne Shirley Blythe and her family discussing her poetry. The book focusses on small-town life in Glen St. Mary, Prince Edward Island, and is divided into two halves: one preceding the events of the Great War of 1914–1918 (World War I) and one relating incidents after the War, up to and including the beginning of the Second World War of 1939–1945.

Background[edit]

The Blythes Are Quoted employs an unusual structure. Short stories about residents of Glen St. Mary are interspersed with vignettes of Anne Shirley Blythe and her family discussing her poetry over a series of evenings. Before or after each of these vignettes, one or more of Anne's poems (and later in the book, the poems of her son Walter) are presented in their entirety.

The stories themselves are not primarily about Anne or her family, though Anne and her husband Gilbert are at least mentioned (and often quoted) by other characters in every single story. Other members of Anne's family are also discussed upon occasion. As well, Anne has a small supporting role in one story, and Gilbert similarly has a supporting role in another. Other than the connection through Anne, however, the short stories do not narratively tie in with the poems or vignettes in any way.

The short stories, most of which were originally published in periodicals throughout the 1930s, focus on characters that live in or near Glen St. Mary, the village that Anne lives in as an adult. These previously published stories initially had no connection to Anne or to Glen St. Mary, but in compiling this volume, Montgomery rewrote the stories to change the settings and include mentions and appearances of Anne and her family—mostly in incidental roles. The poems, most of which were likewise published under Montgomery's name in the previous years, were now attributed to Anne and to Anne's son Walter for the purposes of this collection. The only completely new material specifically composed for this volume are the brief vignettes, which consist solely of dialogue between Anne, her family, and her housekeeper Susan Baker.

The book returns to the characters and setting that are known to readers all around the world, but there is a noticeable shift in tone and topic, given that the book frequently deals with such matters as adultery, illegitimacy, misogyny, revenge, murder, despair, bitterness, hatred, and death. While these elements are not immediately associated with Montgomery's writing, scholars have uncovered the ways in which they are frequently woven into her earlier work.

The book was delivered to Montgomery's Canadian publisher on the day of her death in 1942, but for reasons unexplained, the publisher declined to issue the book at the time. Montgomery scholar Benjamin Lefebvre speculates that the book's dark tone and anti-war message (Anne speaks very bitterly of WWII in one passage) may have made the volume unpublishable in the midst of the second world war.

An abridged version of this book was published as a collection of short stories called The Road to Yesterday in 1974, more than 30 years after the original work had been submitted. The Road to Yesterday shortened and reorganized the stories (dropping one story entirely) and omitted all the vignettes and all but one of the poems.

A complete edition of The Blythes Are Quoted, edited by Benjamin Lefebvre, was finally published in its entirety by Viking Canada in October 2009, more than 67 years after it was composed. A paperback edition appeared in October 2010.

Contents[edit]

  • Frontispiece: "The Piper"
  • Some Fools and a Saint
    Twilight at Ingleside
    "I Wish You"
    "The Old Path Round the Shore"
    "Guest Room in the Country"
  • An Afternoon with Mr. Jenkins
    The Second Evening
    "The New House"
    "Robin Vespers"
    "Night"
    "Man and Woman"
  • Retribution
    The Third Evening
    "There Is a House I Love"
    "Sea Song"
  • The Twins Pretend
    The Fourth Evening
    "To a Desired Friend"
  • Fancy's Fool
    The Fifth Evening
    "Midsummer Day"
    "Remembered"
  • A Dream Comes True
    The Sixth Evening
    "Farewell to an Old Room"
    "The Haunted Room"
    "Song of Winter"
  • Penelope Struts Her Theories
    The Seventh Evening
    "Success"
    "The Gate of Dream"
    "An Old Face"
  • The Reconciliation
  • The Cheated Child
  • Fool's Errand
  • The Pot and the Kettle

Part 2

  • Another Ingleside Twilight
    "Interlude"
    "Come, Let Us Go"
    "A June Day"
    "Wind of Autumn"
    "The Wild Places"
    "For Its Own Sake"
    "The Change"
    "I Know"
  • Brother Beware
    The Second Evening
    "The Wind"
    "The Bride Dreams"
    "May Song"
  • Here Comes the Bride
    The Third Evening
    "The Parting Soul"
    "My House"
    "Memories"
  • A Commonplace Woman
    The Fourth Evening
    "Canadian Twilight"
    "Oh, We Will Walk With Spring Today"
    "Grief"
    "The Room"
  • The Road to Yesterday
    Au Revoir
    "I Want"
    "The Pilgrim"
    "Spring Song"
    "The Aftermath"

Series[edit]

Montgomery continued the story of Anne Shirley in a series of sequels. They are listed in the order of Anne's age in each novel.

Lucy Maud Montgomery's books on Anne Shirley
# Book Date published Anne Shirley's age
1 Anne of Green Gables 1908 11 — 16
2 Anne of Avonlea 1909 16 — 18
3 Anne of the Island 1915 18 — 22
4 Anne of Windy Poplars 1936 22 — 25
5 Anne's House of Dreams 1917 25 — 27
6 Anne of Ingleside 1939 34 — 40
7 Rainbow Valley 1919 41
8 Rilla of Ingleside 1921 49 — 53
Related books in which Anne Shirley plays a lesser part
# Book Date published Anne Shirley's age
Chronicles of Avonlea 1912 approx. 20
Further Chronicles of Avonlea 1920 approx. 20
The Blythes Are Quoted 2009 40 — 75

References[edit]

External links[edit]