Anne of Green Gables


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Item#: 124674 price:$27,000.00

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables


MONTGOMERY, Lucy Maud. Anne of Green Gables. Boston: L.C. Page, 1908. Octavo, original gilt-stamped chocolate brown cloth, mounted cover illustration, uncut. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $27,000.

First edition, first issue, of Montgomery’s first novel, illustrated with eight plates by M.A. and W.A.J. Claus.

The story of the red-haired orphan Anne Shirley and the elderly brother and sister who adopt her "is the most popular and enduring of a host of girls' stories published in the United States and Canada in the first years of the 20th century" (Carpenter & Pritchard, 25-26). "Montgomery 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" (Keeline, 41). 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 The best seller that would make the remote Canadian province of Prince Edward Island known around the globe was not to be published in Montgomery's native Canada until 1942, the year Montgomery died. Lucy Maud 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" (Carpenter & Pritchard, 356). "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 retain 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 disempowered members of society are ignored and trivialized" (Silvey, 465-66). First issue, dated "April, 1908" on the copyright page, in a variant chocolate brown cloth binding; most copies are found in pale green or buff cloth (L.M. Montgomery Institute). We have been able to locate only a handful of first-issue copies that have appeared at auction in the past 30 years. With eight-page publisher's catalogue bound at rear. Peter Parley to Penrod, 124. Keeline, 41-43.

Interior fine, lightest rubbing to spine ends of original cloth binding, spine leaning very slightly. An about-fine copy, exceedingly rare in such excellent condition and in a variant binding.

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