Looking For Something We're Networked! Follow this blog. What a roller-coaster ride these three books are! Amongst these books are wht I think is my favorite, and what I know is my most unfavorite of all the Anne books, and scenes that in turn made me feel like I knew, and then feel like I was a little ashamed of, Ms Montgomery, the Author.
I suppose it's best to start, at this point, by mentioning that while I'm reading these books in order, it's the internal chronology of Anne's world, rather than the order in which they were written. Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne of Ingleside came only much later on in her life along with, apparently, a collection of poems and short stories about the family, which she never finished, but which will be published this year apparently!
This is pretty obvious in the novels. In part this is for practical reasons - characters introduced in Windy Poplars are never mentioned in House of Dreams, but then are mentioned again in Ingleside. But more than this there is the style of the writing.
Dr. Anne Innis Dagg Zoologist Feminist Author
I mentioned in the review of books , Ms Montgomery suffered from major, debilitating depression for most of her life, and in fact probably killed herself at the end by a drug overdose her family has said this is so, apparently, but some scholars disagree. A very nice column by Montgomery's granddaughter on the subject is available from the Toronto Globe and Mail.
This depression seems to have increased after her marriage, probably because her husband suffered from teh same ailment, and the role of a clergyman's wife in Canada at the time was a pretty constricting one for her. It's difficult not to imagine one feels this descent in her writing. As I intimated before, LM Montgomery's charm for me is that her writing is so close to her own bones. You feel in Anne of Green Gables a triumphant sort of rebellion against reality, someone saying 'you know, really, the world COULD be like this, if we let it.
Without a doubt my favorite of the Anne Books so far, House of Dreams is the book where I felt like Montgomery quietly, carefully tried to put Anne into reality, and see what happened. Anne's best friend here is a woman who was forced to marry an abusive man by her own manipulative mother, only to have the man dissapear on a sea voyage, then reappear with severe brain damage. She spends her life, then, forced to care for the invalid man who she once hated, and who has now reverted to a childlike state that is finally capable of giving love.
Anne of Avonlea
She is at once in complete control of him, and yet utterly constrained by him. Anne herself has a child, who dies shortly after it's born.
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The child is not born dead, she is able to feel a happiness over it, but only long enough to realize that the creature is doomed, and she watches it die - watches it, essentially it seems, very slowly choke to death. On top of this, you have the natural difficulties innate to being a newlywed, especially at a time when marriage constricted a woman into a very small place, and you see, for the first time, Anne really realize that she must not only have one of her dreams not turn out, btu that she must choose to grow up, and leave the dream behind at the end of the book, END SPOILER ALERT!!!!
Throughout, Anne remains Anne - in the most honest way imaginable. Her Anne-ness is at once what makes her beautiful and what makes the world hurt her as much as it does. The characters in this book, from the sea-captain to the best friend to the gossipy neighbor, are deeply felt and eminently meaningful, each showing us a little piece of Anne herself, of the pieces of her that struggle for a future supremacy.
And in the end, in something that is a bit shocking in an Anne novel, you don't feel happy. It's not a neat, tidy, happy feeling of completion. It's a real, painful feeling of leaving behind something, comparable, for me, to the feeling at the end of Finding Neverland which is a wonderful movie, btw.
It'll be fascinating, then, to read the two Rilla novels, because the last two Anne novels are completely different. Windy Poplars was IT was alright. IT felt a little overwrought, some of the characters felt a little recycled, but the little girl next door to Anne was beautiful, and metaphorically very powerful I won't get into it, because I know I've already rambled a long time.
More than, anything, it feels like the book written by someone who, herself, desperately wants to re-experience the old Anne, the pure child-Anne of before she grew up. It feels like a sort of Valentine to the Series' past. Ingleside doesn't. I have to admit deeply disliking this book. IT had a few, narrow bright moments, but all in all, it felt frenetic and desperate, and terrifiedly artificial.
Purchase Smitten by Giraffe. This is the greatest honour the CSZ can bestow, and honorary membership marks achievement and service to Zoology in Canada. Honorary membership is restricted to twenty living members. Anne Innis Dagg saw her first giraffe while visiting our very own Brookfield Zoo as a toddler, which is where her fascination with the species first began.
Anne of the Island
Her enchantment with giraffe continued to grow as she matured, and at a young age she made it her life's goal to study giraffe in Africa. Anne continued to look for ways to fulfill her dream of traveling to Africa to study giraffes but received very little encouragement from peers and professors at the University.
- Anne Innis Dagg;
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Through a friend, Anne contacted a farmer in South Africa using only her initials so she would not be discriminated against because of her gender. The farmer agreed to allow her to stay in the farm-hand quarters and off to Africa she went. On the farm she studied the ecology and behaviour of 95 giraffes over a 6 month period.
Continuing to face gender discrimination after returning home to Canada, Anne spent the next decade forging ahead and compiling her data to present in her books and other publications. In the fall of she completed a Doctoral program studying animal behaviour at the University of Waterloo.
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After receiving her PhD, she found it difficult to find a job, as universities in the 's did not often hire women. Instead Anne worked as an independent researcher making many groundbreaking discoveries about wild giraffe and other species. Anne has authored 20 books along with countless trailblazing scientific papers and is the inspiration for many of the researchers and giraffe care professionals joining us for this conference.
We are happy to have Dr. Anne was a central figure in the Independent Studies program at the University of Waterloo since It was an amazing program in which highly motivated students designed and pursued their own curriculum. Closed by the Univerity of Waterloo in after 40 years of operation, its principles are being adopted by a new wave of cutting edge educators. Inedependent Studies. She blazed a trail that was distinctly Canadian, like her father, the political economist, Harold Innis.