Through Lover's Lane: L.M. Montgmery's Photography and Visual Imagination.


217 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 978-0-8020-9460-5
DDC C811'.52




Elisabeth Anne MacDonald-Murray is a private scholar, writing and
editing in Souris, Manitoba.


L.M. Montgomery, best known as a beloved Canadian author and the creator of the national icon Anne of Green Gables, was an artist whose talents ranged far beyond writing to include a passionate fascination with photography. As Elizabeth Rollins Epperly points out in this interesting work that provides a novel and previously unexamined perspective in the crowded forum of Montgomery scholarship, Montgomery’s photographs reveal a strong visual memory and a creative gift for shaping and framing visual images. Through an examination of Montgomery’s collection of photographs, Epperly argues that much can be learned about how the author literally saw her world, and that it is possible to draw a connection between Montgomery’s “shaping eye” as a photographer and her careful creation of visual images as a writer, both of which reflect her gift for imagery. Noting Montgomery’s preference for specific patterns and shapes in the composition of her photographs, Epperly suggests that these same visual patterns are repeated in the striking images and descriptions in her literary writings that have so fascinated and attracted readers through the years and define Montgomery’s artistic achievement.


Beginning with a discussion of Montgomery’s visual imagination, Epperly observes that the author herself frequently referred to her “visual memory” and her practice of storing “memory pictures.” Epperly employs the term “visual imagination” to describe the various means of “seeing” by which Montgomery not only perceived but also created images, with vivid colour, shape, and composition. For Montgomery, she argues, the central and primary image that connects and informs her photographic and literary imagery is Lover’s Lane itself, that site, both real and imaginary, that represents Montgomery’s own sense of place and belonging and comes to symbolize her emotional centre. Through a close reading of Montgomery’s photographs as well as her many literary scenes and images, Epperly shows how the author’s use of image and pattern creates a unifying metaphor that is reflected throughout her many imaginative creations.


Epperly, Elizabeth R., “Through Lover's Lane: L.M. Montgmery's Photography and Visual Imagination.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,