When Isabella Alden published a new novel, readers around the world rejoiced; her fellow authors did, too.
One of Isabella’s biggest fans was novelist Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote the famous Anne of Green Gables series of books for girls.
In fact, Ms. Montgomery enjoyed Isabella’s novels so much, she mentioned them in her own book.
If you’ve read Anne of Green Gables, you’ll recall there’s a chapter titled “A Tempest in a School Teapot,” in which Anne Shirley suffers through a terrible day at school.
First, Gilbert Blythe calls her “Carrots” because of the color of her hair, and Anne reacts so angrily, she breaks her slate over Gilbert’s head.
Then, after lunch, Anne and several boys return to class late, and Mr. Phillips, the schoolmaster, decides to make an example of Anne:
“Anne Shirley, since you seem to be so fond of the boys’ company we shall indulge your taste for it this afternoon,” he said sarcastically. “Take those flowers out of your hair and sit with Gilbert Blythe.”
To Anne, this was as the end of all things. It was bad enough to be singled out for punishment from among a dozen equally guilty ones; it was worse still to be sent to sit with a boy; but that that boy should be Gilbert Blythe was heaping insult on injury to a degree utterly unbearable.
Later, when Anne was finally free to walk home with her bosom friend Diana Berry, Anne declared she would never return to school again.
Diana immediately tried to convince her to change her mind, saying:
“Just think of all the fun you will miss,” mourned Diana. “We are going to build the loveliest new house down by the brook; and we’ll be playing ball next week and you’ve never played ball, Anne. It’s tremenjusly exciting. And we’re going to learn a new song—Jane Andrews is practicing it up now; and Alice Andrews is going to bring a new Pansy book next week and we’re all going to read it out loud, chapter about, down by the brook, and you know you are so fond of reading out loud, Anne.”
Diana knew just how to tempt Anne—with a new Pansy book!
And author Lucy Maud Montgomery knew that everyone who read that line would know exactly what Diana Berry was talking about. Perhaps Ms. Montgomery knew that girls who liked to read about Anne of Green Gables would most certainly be fans of Pansy’s books, as well.
Have you read Anne of Green Gables or any other novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery? Which is your favorite?