Rereading Anne of Green Gables in Anne of Ingleside: L.M. Montgomery’s Variations

Perry Nodelman

Abstract


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In a novel by L.M. Montgomery, a new girl, an orphan, arrives in town. She is “not pretty but her appearance was striking” (163)—particularly her enormous eyes. Not satisfied with the confined nature of her life in an unsatisfactory new home, the orphan makes up exciting stories about her adventures that intrigue her new schoolmates—particularly a girl named Diana, who becomes the orphan’s best friend. But Diana’s relatives worry that the imaginative new friend may have “bewitched” her: and, indeed, she entices Diana into behaviour that distresses them. That sounds like a summary of events in Anne of Green Gables (1908). It isn’t. The orphan is not Anne but Jenny Penny, a character in Montgomery’s last published novel, Anne of Ingleside (1939). The Diana she befriends is not Anne’s friend Diana Barry, but her namesake Diana Blythe, daughter of Anne and Gilbert.

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