Earlier this year, with the publication of Rumer Godden’s wonderful ballet novels, Thursday’s Children and Listen to the Nightingale, we introduced children’s books to the Virago Modern Classics list. It’s a project that’s close to my heart as I’ve long wanted the VMCs to be an imprint that is read and embraced by all ages. On my desk this morning were early copies of the Emily of New Moon trilogy by L. M. Montgomery, which we will publish next month, and I’m completely enchanted by the covers, which feature beautiful illustrations by talented artist Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.
With themes of friendship, aspiration, and romance, the Emily books are really appealing. They’re beautifully told, with a wonderfully spirited heroine, and they’re ripe for rediscovery. Anne of Green Gables has always been among the most popular of children’s classics and if you love Anne Shirley, you will love Emily Starr just as much; of all the books L. M. Montgomery wrote, the Emily trilogy was her personal favourite, and the heroine the character she most identified with.
Have you ever read Emily of New Moon? I hadn’t, until a year ago, when a colleague recommended it and I was captivated. When I scheduled the series, another colleague actually ran down the corridor and hugged me! In our office, L. M. Montgomery certainly has ardent admirers, and for this series in particular.The books you discover in childhood stay with you for life. What were your childhood favourites?