Prince Edward Island: Locus Focus

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Locus Focus Meme Button

Locus Focus is a new meme hosted every Saturday by Enbrethiliel at Shredded Cheddar. “We all know of books that make their settings come alive, and this meme is a chance to write about them and share them with others.” Visit her blog and link up!

I love L. M. Montgomery’s books. I think I’ve read all of her fiction, and she was pretty prolific. She lived on Prince Edward Island, Canada and set almost all of her fiction there. Needless to say, I’m dying to do a pilgrimage!

My favorite of Montgomery’s books are the Anne of Green Gables series. I’m not sure exactly when they take place, but 1870s to 1920 is close.

Prince Edward Island Near Souris
Photo taken by Dr Wilson
and posted on Wikimedia Commons

Of course, at this time, most of the islanders were farmers or fishermen.  I grew up in a rural area with my grandparents’ small farm just up the hill.  Talk about a farm and that’s what I picture.  So I was always taken aback when the characters would leave the farm and just go down to the shore for a stroll.  The shore is a five hour drive from my house!  This picture helps me see how close the farmland and shoreline truly are.

Photo taken by Chincyuan and posted on Wikimedia Commons

L. M. Montgomery tends to be very, very descriptive and she talks a lot about PEI’s red roads.  Look at these red cliffs!  I think this picture is just gorgeous.

Photo of Green Gables
Photo taken by Jakclapclap47
and posted on Wikimedia Commons

This is the Green Gables farmhouse that the book’s location is based on.  Montgomery’s cousins owned the house in Cavendish, PEI and Montgomery stayed there when she was young.  In the area are “Lover’s Lane,” “Balsam Hollow,” and “Haunted Woods” from the book.

Here’s a poem Montgomery wrote, called “Twilight in Abegweit”

A filmy western sky of smoky red,
Blossoming into stars above a sea
Of soft mysterious dim silver spread
Beyond the long gray dunes’ serenity:
Where the salt grasses and sea poppies press
Together in a wild sweet loneliness.

Seven slim poplars on the windy hill
Talk some lost language of an elder day,
Taught by the green folk that inhabit still
The daisied field and secret friendly way–
Forever keeping in their solitudes
The magic ritual of our northern woods.

The darkness woos us like a perfumed flower
To reedy meadow pool and wise old trees,
To beds of spices in a garden bower,
And the spruce valley’s dear austerities;
I know their lure of dusk, but evermore
I turn to the enchantment of the shore.

The idle ships dream-like at anchor ride,
Beside the pier where wavelets lap and croon;
One ghostly ship sails outward with the tide
that swells to meet the pale imperial moon,
O fading ship, between the dark and light,
I send my heart and hope with you tonight.

Prince Edward Island Sunset

Do you have a setting that you just love?

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  1. One more reason for me to read Montgomery. PEI looks gorgeous – I want to visit! Great choice!

  2. I love the Anne of Green Gables series but never realized it was set in PEI. Your pictures make me want visit there!

  3. Oh, I so loved that series as a child…haven't read it again lately, although I do have one of the first books sitting here in my office. I bought it for my granddaughter to read when she visits, but her tastes are different. Alas!

    I love books set in Ireland or England. I've never been there, but my oldest son has, and from his descriptions, I can almost find myself right there when I read a book from those settings.

  4. +JMJ+

    For shame, Paul! And you live in Canada! =P

    (For some reason, I like to think that all Canadians are born with a working knowledge of and healthy pride in all L.M. Montgomery's novels.)

  5. "So I was always taken aback when the characters would leave the farm and just go down to the shore for a stroll."

    That is wonderful and reminds me of past encounters with settings that were familiar, yet something else entirely. I didn't know that Anne of Green Gables takes place on P.E.I. The most I knew to this date was Anne has red hair. It was my elder sisters' territory, and I never went there.

  6. +JMJ+

    What a great post! I love the pictures you chose. =D

    Yes, Montgomery is a very descriptive writer. (In fact, I had been thinking of writing about "Avonlea" next week!) Since I've read only her Anne books, though, I tend to see her settings through Anne's pixilated eyes, which seem to think that everything is enchanted. I wonder whether her descriptions change, even though the setting doesn't, when the book stars a new heroine.

    Thanks for linking up this week, Jen! =)

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