Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture

By Gillis, Stacy | British Journal of Canadian Studies, September 2003 | Go to article overview

Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture


Gillis, Stacy, British Journal of Canadian Studies


Irene Gammel (ed.), Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), xiii + 347pp. Cloth. £45. ISBN 0-8020-3558-2. Paper. £18. ISBN 0-8020-8433-8.

Gammel is a member of the L.M. Montgomery Institute (founded 1993) at the University of Prince Edward Island and at the forefront of that small cohort of scholars recuperating Montgomery. Making Avonlea, like Gammel's co-edited collection, L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture (2000), emerged from an Institute conference. These two collections are the first studies to address Anne, Emily and Montgomery both as national icons and as global cultural phenomena. References to such theorists of the popular as Pierre Bourdieu and John Fiske are scattered throughout Making Avonlea but more recent work on the popular is not referenced. This is particularly disconcerting in the otherwise excellent 'Viewing Avonlea' section, which could have taken account of recent work on film adaptation. The academic pieces in the collection represent groundbreaking Montgomery scholarship, including Gammel on erotic landscapes in Montgomery, Elizabeth Epperly on Montgomery's photography, Janice Fiamengo on landscape and tourism and Christopher Gittings on the Emily of New Moon television series. However, in addition to the scholarly chapters, there are a number of personal 'snapshots', including a short account of how to make an Anne doll and Tara Nogler's description of her time working as 'Anne of Green Gables' at Canadian World in Japan.

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