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Montgomery's Contemporaries

On the following page you will find lists of Heads of State in Montgomery's time (Canadian prime ministers, British monarchs and prime ministers, and American presidents), a very short list of some Canadian/World events, a list of some inventions/inventors of the time, and very short alphabetical lists of some Canadian, British, and American writers that wrote during her time.

The amazing changes during Montgomery's life (1874-1942) make hers a fascinating time to study (see Changing Role of Women in Montgomery's Times).

L.M. Montgomery was born in the time of Queen Victoria and died four monarchs later during the reign of George VI. She saw huge changes in government and governing because she also lived during the Boer War (1899-1902), the First World War (1914-1918), the overthrow of the Russian Czars, and the beginning of the Second World War (1939-1945). Coca-Cola appeared in her time, along with the telephone, gramophone, radios, automobiles, airplanes, helicopters.

Writers and writing changed dramatically after and between the wars. As she reveals so well in her journals and also in Emily of New Moon (1923), Montgomery was trained in late-Victorian Romanticism through the works of Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Sir Walter Scott, Felicia Hemans, Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Dickens, and Tennyson. British Poet Laureate, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, only died in 1892, when she was almost nineteen years old. She witnessed the emergence of aestheticism and the rise of modernism (see Changing Perception of Montgomery's Writing). The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Black Beauty (1877), Heidi (1880), Ben Hur (1880), Treasure Island (1883), The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883), and Huckleberry Finn (1884) all appeared when Montgomery was still a child. Beatrix Potter's A Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) appeared when she was an adult, establishing herself as a poet and short-story writer; and Kenneth Grahame's enduring best-seller, The Wind in the Willows, appeared the same year as Anne of Green Gables (1908). But at the same time as Montgomery was becoming well-known and then beloved, such writers as T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and Frederick Philip Grove were challenging the way the Nineteenth-Century writers had reflected/shaped the world around them.

Look at the sample lists on the following page to get an impression of how rapidly and completely so many fronts changed in Montgomery's time.

For fun and some surprises, you may want to consult the time line of Anne's life, from 1866-1919, in The Anne of Green Gables Treasury (Viking: 1991, 32-43). You will also find a large number of helpful time lines on the world wide Web, including http://www.cbc4kids.cbc.ca.

L.M. Montgomery as Canadian Hero | Montgomery's Contemporaries | Tips for Teachers
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