Warning: If you have a visual impairment, use the manuscript transcript version including the Lucy Maud Montgomery’s foot notes and contextual annotation references.

Chapter 21 - (VERSO)

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two months vacation before them, can they, Marilla? And besides we met the new minister and his wife coming from the station. For all I was feeling so bad about Mr. Phillips going away I couldn’t help taking a little interest in a new minster, His wife is could I? His wife is very pretty. Not exactly regally lovely, of course—it wouldn’t do, I suppose, for a minister to have a regally lovely wife, because it might set a bad example. She was dressed Mrs. Lynde says the minister’s wife over at Newbridge sets a very bad example because she dresses so fashionably. Our new ministers wife was dressed in blue muslin with lovely puffed sleeves. Jane and a hat trimmed with roses. Jane Andrews said she thought


"I couldn't help taking a little interest in the new minister, could I?": Montgomery's long journal entry of October 12, 1906, recounts her changed feelings about Ewan Macdonald and her secret engagement to him. The whole entry is well worth reading since it has created so much interest and speculation. She notes in particular: "The life of a country minister's wife has always appeared to me as a synonym for respectable slavery …." (Complete Journals, The PEI Years, 1901–1911, p. 155). Mrs. Allan provides a lovely alternative to Montgomery's own private views, and the many comments about ministers, throughout the novel, seem to laugh at a private joke she has with or about Ewan Macdonald and village gossip.


"blue muslin": A dress muslin, at the time, was a finely woven, very thin, but good-bodied cotton. Quality muslin would hold up the puffed sleeves so stylish at the time, but, if fine enough, would be thin enough to read newsprint through. The implication here is that Mrs. Allan is not only stylish, but also not (yet) in need of the kind of hearty, durable dress needed by a typical homemaker .