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Montgomery's Impact Globally

Montgomery's work introduces many readers to Canada. For example, as a child immigrant from China, Her Excellency, Adrienne Clarkson, the Governor General of Canada, understood Canadian customs and culture through reading Montgomery's novels. In 2000, Her Excellency became the official Patron of the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Anne of Green Gables coverThe first translation of Montgomery's work was into Swedish in 1909, just one year after the publication of Anne of Green Gables in North America. Montgomery has continued to be a popular writer in Sweden. Anne of Green Gables has been translated into more than a dozen languages and Montgomery has inspired reading clubs and fan clubs in countries around the world. ambassador unveiling the school plaque in WarsawIn Poland, Montgomery was something of a hero in war time and later, becoming part of a thriving black market trade for the Polish resistance. Polish soldiers were issued copies of a Montgomery novel to take to the front with them in the Second World War. The Blue Castle was made into a musical in Cracow in the 1980's and its performances were sold out. Today, there is a new L.M. Montgomery School in Warsaw. The picture at right shows the ambassador unveiling the school plaque.

In Japan, Montgomery became part of the school curriculum in 1952. In 1939, when New Brunswick missionary, Miss Shaw, left Japan, she gave to her friend Hanako Muraoka her prized copy of Anne of Green Gables. Secretly, the respected Japanese translator rendered Montgomery's text into Japanese, Akage No Anne (Anne of the Red Hair). photo of Japanese translator Hanako MuraokaWhen the Second World War ended and officials were looking for uplifting Western literature for the schools, Muraoka brought out her translation of Anne. Ever since, Anne has been a part of Japanese culture, with her exotic red hair and comic outspokenness. Yuko Izawa's recently-published bibliography of editions gives some idea of the continuing popularity of Montgomery in Japan (see Credits under Works Cited). Today, there is an Anne Academy in Japan; there are national fan clubs; one nursing school is nicknamed "The Green Gables School of Nursing" and is sister school with the University of Prince Edward Island's School of Nursing. Thousands of Japanese come to Prince Edward Island every year as visitors to Anne country and the Land of Green Gables. When the National Park house called Green Gables caught fire in May 1997, the Japanese responded immediately by sending money to restore and repair the building. Dozens of glossy Japanese magazines have devoted whole issues to photographs of Island scenery and crafts and of course to the sites devoted to Montgomery and her works. A lovely symbol of connections: a Japanese couple, Mark and Terry Kamikawa, came to Prince Edward Island because of Montgomery and have for years now run the Blue Winds Tea Room close to Montgomery's birthplace in New London. They feature some of Montgomery's own recipes.

Every two years the L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI hosts an international academic conference concerning Montgomery's life, works, culture, and influence. Participants and presenters have come from Australia, Canada, China, England, Ireland, Israel, Scotland, Sweden, Japan, and the United States. Montgomery scholarship is undertaken in countries around the world. The Kindred Spirits electronic listserve has an active membership of some five hundred members, and dozens and dozens of Web sites are focused on Montgomery. Movies of Montgomery's works are translated into several languages.


Why Study Montgomery? | The Life of L.M. Montgomery | L.M. Montgomery's Impact Globally | List of Works | List of Libraries and Archives | Chronology
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