"The Canadian Home Front" — Exhibit


The Canadian Home Front:
L.M. Montgomery’s Reflections on the First World War

A Curated Exhibit


 Laura Robinson, Department of English, Royal Military College of Canada

L.M. Montgomery in the Kitchen
L.M. Montgomery in the Kitchen
Guelph Archives

Internationally-famous Atlantic Canadian writer, L.M. Montgomery penned 20 novels in the period 1908-1939, most significantly the iconic Anne of Green Gables (1908). In addition, she kept copious journals throughout her life which offer great insight into the mind of this prolific writer and reveal her often strong opinions about current affairs. The First World War erupted early on in her writing career, and her journals demonstrate her worries, concerns, and emotions surrounding this devastating war. Moreover, this astute reader of culture diligently followed and recorded the war news and responses to it. She also wrote the first novel in Canada to celebrate the home front: Rilla of Ingleside (1921). Many scholars and writers have addressed women’s active roles in WWI and continental European women’s experiences in embattled and outlying countries. Montgomery’s reflections in her fiction and her journals express ordinary civilian women’s reaction to and engagement with the war effort in Canada. Generously funded with a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant, my curated exhibit will use Montgomery’s words as a starting point to illustrate the effect on women of the transitioning historical moment through displays of clothing, letters, artwork, short films, and other artefacts. 

Laura Robinson is an Associate Professor and Head of English literature at the Royal Military College of Canada. Interested in gender and sexuality, she has published articles on Canadian children’s literature, Margaret Atwood, Ann-Marie MacDonald, and the television show The L-Word, in addition to many articles on L.M. Montgomery’s work, most recently “‘Sex Matters’: L.M. Montgomery, Sexuality, and Friendship” in Children’s Literature. Her current project examines Montgomery’s changing depiction of friendship and sexuality, particularly after the impact of the First World War. She also edited a special issue on “Queerness and Children’s Literature” for Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature which was published in winter 2014. Her creative writing has appeared in Women’s Studies, Wascana Review, torquere, Frontiers, EnterText, and Her Circle.

 Laura Robinson
Laura Robinson


The Canadian Home FrontClick on the picture to see the poster in full size



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