Boston: L.C. Page & Company, 1908. Item #03660
First Edition of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables
"The Dearest and Most Moving Child Since the Immortal Alice" (Mark Twain)
MONTGOMERY, L[ucy] M[aud]. Anne of Green Gables. Illustrated by M.A. and W.A.J. Claus. Boston: L.C. Page & Company, 1908.
First edition, First Impression.
Octavo (7 7/16 x 5 1/8 inches; 190 x 130 mm.). viii, [ix], [1, blank], 429, [1, blank], [4, L.C. Page & Company's Announcement List of New Fiction], [4, Selections from L.C. Page and Company's List of Fiction] pp. Inserted frontispiece and seven half-tone plates after drawings by Mary Austin Claus and William Klaus. On the verso of the title-page is the statement "First Impression, April, 1908".
Publisher's brown ribbed cloth, front cover with square color plate (by an unknown artist) pasted-on within blind-stamped borders, front cover and spine lettered in gilt, top edge trimmed, others uncut, plain end-papers. Minimal rubbing to binding extremities and two small 'abrasions' to the top border of the 'mounted' plate on front cover. Lower corner on front cover slightly bumped, inside front hinge just starting, otherwise a near fine and totally untouched copy of this great children's classic. Housed in a fleece-lined half black morocco clamshell case.
"In later life, Montgomery recalled writing in her journal the seed of an idea for a book: "Elderly couple apply to orphan asylum for boy. By mistake girl is sent them." Following the publication of Anne of Green Gables, Mark Twain wrote to congratulate Montgomery on the accidental adoptee, Anne Shirley -- "the dearest and most moving child since the immortal Alice". (Chris Loker. Grolier One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature, p. 204).
Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Written for all ages, it has been considered a children's novel since the mid-twentieth century. It recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who had intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in Prince Edward Island. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.
Since publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. Numerous sequels were written by Montgomery, and since her death, another sequel has been published, as well as an authorized prequel. The original book is taught to students around the world. It has been adapted as film, made-for-television movies, and animated and live-action television series. Anne Shirley was played by Megan Follows in the 1985 Canadian produced movie. Plays and musicals have also been created, with productions annually in Canada since 1964 of the first musical production, which has toured in Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan.
Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) began writing about Anne as a serial for a Sunday school periodical in the spring of 1904. The character became so real that she eventually decided to develop the idea into a full novel. Much as would later with readers, Anne took hold of her creator, developing into a feisty, imaginative little being who demanded to be noticed and loved. The novel was completed in 1905, but was rejected by four major American publishing houses, and it was not until 1907 that Montgomery found a publisher. The best seller that would make the remote Canadian province of Prince Edward Island known around the globe was not to be published in Montgomery's native Canada until 1942 the year Montgomery died. Montgomery's mother died when she was two, and she was sent to live with her maternal grandparents in their farmhouse. In character she seems to have much resembled her heroine Anne. She became a teacher, but gave it up to look after her widowed grandmother. By age 21 she was earning her living in the thriving periodical market of turn-of-the-century North America. International acclaim came in 1908 with the publication of her first novel, Anne of Green Gables, which instantly became and remains a best-seller. There is energy of another type that animates Montgomery's books, which retains a strong hold on adult readers. It is the energy of social critique, and it operates just below the surface of many of her novels. Anne and Emily, her two best-known and best-developed heroines, may fulfill their womanly duty by marrying the saccharine-sweet boy next door, but not before each voices loud and angry criticisms of the way in which girls, orphans, and other dis-empowered members of society are ignored and trivialized. (Silvey, pp. 465-66 & Keeline, pp. 41-43).
Grolier Club. One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature (curated by Chris Loker) #58.
Peter Parley to Penrod, p. 124.