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L.M. Montgomery—Writer of the World. International conference, Uppsala University, Sweden, August 20-23, 2009.
 
Read about L.M. Montgomery Celebrated in Sweden from the Summerside Journal Pioneer Newspaper on Prince Edward Island
 
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The 2009 international L.M. Montgomery conference began with
                                    a reception in the Linnéanum, at the edge of the botaniska trädgården (botanical garden) in Uppsala, Sweden. The building
                                    was erected in honour of Uppsala’s hometown celebrity, 18th century botanist Carl Linnaeus. The Baroque garden seen
                                    here originally belonged to Uppsala castle, but was donated to Uppsala Universitet (university) by King Gustav III.Jocelyne
                                    Lloyd/Journal Pioneer
The 2009 international L.M. Montgomery conference began with a reception in the Linnéanum, at the edge of the botaniska trädgården (botanical garden) in Uppsala, Sweden. The building was erected in honour of Uppsala’s hometown celebrity, 18th century botanist Carl Linnaeus. The Baroque garden seen here originally belonged to Uppsala castle, but was donated to Uppsala Universitet (university) by King Gustav III.Jocelyne Lloyd/Journal Pioneer
Montgomery celebrated in Sweden print this article

JOCELYNE LLOYD
The Journal Pioneer

UPPSALA, Sweden – Where would you expect to find the world’s most respected scholars of Lucy Maud Montgomery congregating, meeting fans and sharing their lives’ work? Probably not Sweden.
But that is where the “giants” of the Montgomery scholarship world (as they were referred to repeatedly) met recently to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first translation of “Anne of Green Gables” into Swedish.
“Montgomery is not only important in Canada or Prince Edward Island,” explained conference co-organizer Dr. Gabriella Åhmansson, “but all over the world.”
Indeed, the conference was called “L.M. Montgomery — Writer of the World” and attracted delegates from as far away as Japan (of course), Finland, Russia and China. Organizers expected about 200 Montgomery enthusiasts for the four-day conference in Uppsala, Sweden, and 120 of them were present for the English wrap-up presentations Sunday.
“You should all be in church,” Dr. Elizabeth Waterston admonished the international crowd before she launched into a 30-minute snapshot of Montgomery’s life and writing.
Waterston later joined a panel discussion with her University of Guelph colleague Dr. Mary Rubio, probably best known for their collaboration in editing and getting published Montgomery’s journals. The pair were flanked by the founder of the Lucy Maud Montgomery Institute at UPEI, Dr. Betsy Epperly, and Åhmansson, who wrote the first doctoral thesis ever on Montgomery’s work, “A Life and its Mirrors: a Feminist Reading of L.M. Montgomery’s fiction”.
Åhmansson related that a male colleague had told her when she was beginning this thesis, “If I used the word feminist in my title, it would ruin my career. And he was right. But I would not go back to 1981 and change anything.”
The other women on the panel experienced similar reactions to their choice of subject. Epperly had also wanted to write a thesis on Montgomery.
“That wasn’t allowed,” she said. “You couldn’t do that. So I did my paper on a dead Victorian man.” She still enjoys Anthony Trollope, but has focused her career since on her first love.
“After all,” she told the crowd, “I had changed my citizenship from American to Canadian because I loved Montgomery so much.”
Montgomery’s granddaughter and president of the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery, Kate Macdonald Butler, confessed to being amazed at her grandmother’s universal appeal.
“In 2008 I had the opportunity to travel a fair bit. I was so struck,” she said. “Well, in Japan, the readers, they cry when they meet me. They just love the stories so much and they’re moved when they meet me.”
There were plenty of fans in Uppsala lining up to meet Macdonald Butler — even asking her to sign their copies of “Anne of Green Gables”.
“We’re all pleased to be here,” Waterston reiterated. “We’re all grateful to L.M. Montgomery.”

04/09/09

L.M. Montgomery’s world famous novel Anne of Green Gables has continued to attract readers from all over the world for a century. Our centenary conference is a tribute to all of those who have made 100 years of readership possible. The main theme of the conference is “Reading Response.” We will explore reading experiences of Anne of Green Gables and other works by L.M. Montgomery. One section will be dedicated to Anne of Green Gables in Sweden.

Conference Co-ordinator Gabriella Åhmansson at montgomery2009@ahmansson.com.

Conference Co-ordinator Åsa Warnqvist

Listen to the presentations from this conference at this link.