These back-of-page seemingly random, out-of-order scrap pieces are drafts of Montgomery’s early short stories and poems. Some were already published when she drafted Anne in 1905 and 1906, and others were probably typed up and kept elsewhere. Some verso scrap sheets show early experiments: “A Baking of Gingersnaps” (1895) was her first published short story; she tests the pen names Maud Cavendish and Maud Eglinton. After Chapter 15, she started writing Anne front-to-back. Why did she switch from scrap pages to fresh sheets?
View an index of the verso contents here, or explore the full collection of Verso pages below:
the Charlottetown hospital and had hunted out all the available amateur talent in the surrounding districts to help it along. Bertha Sampson and Pearl Clay of the White Sands Baptist choir had been asked to sing a duet; Milton Clark of Newbridge was to give a violin solo; Winnie Adella Blair of Carmody was to sing a Sct Scotch ballad; and Laura Spencer of Spencervale and Anne Shirley of Avonlea were to recite.
As Anne would have said at one time it was “an epoch in her life” and she was deliciously athrill with the excitement of it. Matthew was in the seventh heaven of gratified pride over the honour conferred on his Anne
“But it suits you ever so much better,” said Diana. “It’s so soft and frilly and clinging. The muslin is stiff and makes you look too dressed up.
“ But the organdy seems as if it grew on you.”
Anne sighed and yielded. Diana was beginning to have a reputation for notable taste in dressing and her advice on such subjects was much sought after. She was looking very pretty herself on this particular night in a dress of the lovely wild-rose pink, from which Anne was forever debarred; but she was not to take any part in the concert, so her appearance was of minor importance. All her pains were bestowed upon Anne, who, she vowed, must, for the credit
me a string from town last week and I know he’d like to see me them on me.”
Diana pursed up her lips, put her black head on one side critically and finally pronounced in favour of the beads, which were thereupon tied around Anne’s slim milk-white throat.
“There’s something so stylish about you, Anne
,” said Diana ^with unenvious admiration. “You hold your head with such an air. I suppose it’s your figure. I am just a dumpling. I’ve always been scared afraid of it and now I know it is so. Well, I suppose I shall just have to resign myself to it.”
“But you have such dimples,” said Anne, “Lovely smiling affectionately into the pretty, vivacious face so near her own ^E18 “I have given up
anything to Matthew nowadays. Time was when he would take my advice but now he just buys things for Anne regardless, and the clerks at Carmody know they can palm anything off on him. G18 Mind you keep you keep your skirt clear of the wheel, Anne, and put your warm jacket on.”
Then Mar Marilla stalked downstairs, thinking proudly how sweet Anne looked, with that
“One moonbeam from the forehead to the cro crown”
and regretting that she could not go to the concert herself to hear her girl recite.
“I wonder if it is too damp for my dress,” said Anne anxiously.
“Not a bit of it,” said Diana, pulling
are you going to recite, Anne? And are you nervous?”
“Not a bit. I’ve recited so often ^in public I dont mind at all now. I’ve decided to give “The Maiden’s Vow.” It’s so pathetic. Laura Spencer is going to give a comic recitation, but I’d rather make people cry than laugh.”
“What will you recite if they en they encore you?”
“They won’t dream of encoring me,” scoffed Anne, who was not without her own secret hopes that they would, ^F18 “There are Billy and Jane now—I hear the wheels. Come on.”
Billy Andrews insisted that Anne should ride on the front seat with him, so she unwillingly climbed up. She would have much preferred to sit back with
hotel, and laughter, silver clear, echoed and re-echored re-echoed around it. When they reached the hotel it was a blaze of light from top to bottom. They were met by the ladies of the concert committee one of whom took Anne off to the performers’ dressing room, which was filled with the members of a Charlottetown Symphony Club, among whom Anne felt suddenly shy ^and frightened and countrified. Her dress which, in the east gable, had seemed so dainty and pretty, now seemed simple and plain—too simple and plain, she thought, amid all the silks and laces that glistened and rustled round her. What were her ^pearl beads compared to the diamonds of the ^big, handsome lady near her? And how poor her one wee white rose must look beside
acutely sensitive of being so scrutinized, felt that she must scream aloud; and the white-lace girl kept talking audibly to her next neighbor about the “country bumpkins” and “rustic belles” in the audience, G18 Anne believed that she would hate that white-lace girl to the end of life.
Unfortunately for Anne, a professional elocutionist was staying at the hotel and had consented to recite. She was a lithe, dark-eyed woman in a wonderful gown of shimmering gray stuff like woven moonbeams, with gems on her neck and in her dark hair. She had a marvellously flexible voice and wonderful power of expression; the audience went wild over her selection. Anne listened for-
of it paralyzed her energies completely. Everything was so strange, and bewildering so brilliant, so bewildering – the row of ladies in evening dress, the critical faces, the whole atmosphere of wealth and culture about her. Very different this from the plain benches of the Debating Club, filled with the homely, sympathetic faces of friends and neighbors. These people, she thought, would be merciless critics. She felt Perhaps, like the white-lace girl, they anticipated amusement from her “rustic” efforts. She felt hopelessly, helplessly ashamed and miserable. Her knees trembled, her heart fluttered, a horrible faintness came over her; not a word could she utter, and the next moment she would have fled from the platform despite
not have cared if she had. She drew a long breath and flung her head up proudly, courage and determination tingling over her like an electric shock. She would not fail before Gilbert Blythe – he should never be able to laugh at her, never, never! Her fright and nervousness vanished; and she began her recitation, her clear, sweet voice reaching to the farthest corner of the room without a tremor or a break. Self-possession was fully restored to her and in the reaction from that horrible moment of powerlessness she recited as she had never done before. When she finished there were bursts of honest applause. Anne, stepping back to her seat, found blushing with shyness and delight, found her hand vigorously clasped and
everybody and everybody was very nice to her. ^I18 They had supper in the big, beautifully decorated dining room; Diana and Jane were invited to partake of this also, since they had come with Anne, but Billy was nowhere to be found, having decamped in mortal fear of some such invitation. He was in waiting for them, ^with the team.
or however, when it was all over and the three girls came merrily out into the calm white moonshine ^radiance. Anne breathed deeply, and looked into the clear sky beyond the dark boughs of the firs. J18
“Hasn’t it been a perfectly splendid time?” sighed Jane, as they drove away. “I just wish I was a rich American and could spend my summer at a hotel and wear
of the tone he said it in. There was Part of it was anyhow. There was an American sitting behind Jane and me – such a romantic-looking man, Josie Pye says with coal-black hair and eyes. Josie Pye says he is a distinguished artist and that her mother’s cousin ^in Boston is married to a man that used to go to school with him. Well, we heard him say—didn’t we, Jane?—‘Who is that girl on the platform with the splendid Titian hair
‘? She has a face I should like to paint.’ There now, Anne. But what does Titian hair mean?”
“Being interpreted it means plain red, I guess,” laughed Anne. “Titian was a very famous artist, who liked to paint red-haired women.”
“Did you see all the diamonds