Across the Miles: Tales of Correspondence

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McClelland & Stewart, 1996 - Short stories - 280 pages
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In L.M. Montgomery’s world, receiving a letter was an important event. Letters, before the advent of the telephone, were the sole means of communication between people who lived at a distance from each other. Letter-writing was a cultivated skill, honed by another nineteenth-century pastime, keeping a journal. The twenty stories in Across the Miles bear witness to the importance these writing forms played in ordinary people’s lives, as they corresponded with loved ones and expressed themselves through their journals. As usual, Montgomery’s cast of characters ranges widely, from the poor but ambitious student Grace Seeley, to the rich but lonely Isobel Shirley, from the “unholy imp” Link Houseman to the country doctor Jack Willoughby and his millionaire rival Gus Sinclair. Her tales may be set on her beloved Prince Edward Island or the western prairies, in a humble cottage or a society mansion; her tone may be serious or playful; her characters may be caught up in whirlwind love affairs or the more prosaic business of everyday life. But always the stories in Across the Miles bring us back to a world we feel we have lost, a world of old-fashioned values and concerns, a world we enter gladly, sure that we will find people, places, and plots to amuse charm and move us.

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About the author (1996)

One of the best-loved children's/young adult authors, Lucy Maud Montgomery was born on November 30, 1874 in Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Canada, the daughter of Hugh John and Clara Woolner. After attending Prince of Wales College and Dalhouse College in Halifax, she became a certified teacher, eventually teaching in Bideford, Prince Edward Island. She also served as an assistant at the post office and as a writer for the local newspaper, The Halifax Daily Echo. Best known for her Anne of Avonlea and Anne of Green Gables books, Montgomery received many high honors. She was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1923 and a Canadian stamp commemorates Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables. In addition, various museums dedicated to the book series and Montgomery's life dot Prince Edward Island. The books in the Anne series follow the growth and adventures of a red-haired, spritely, high-spirited and imaginative orphan named Anne who lives on Prince Edward Island. The success of these books rested in Montgomery's ability to vividly recollect childhood and her easy storytelling ability. They are tremendously popular to this day and have been translated into more than 35 languages and adapted as movies and PBS television productions. On July 5, 1911, L.M. Montgomery married Ewan Macdonald, a Presbyterian minister, and the marriage produced three children. She died on April 24, 1942.

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