What literary works have had an effect on you? Who are your favorite writers, and how have they influenced your perspectives or improved your life?
Have you ever wondered what literary works influenced your favorite writers?
I recently read The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1889-1899, about the woman considered Canada’s most widely read author, who wrote the Anne of Green Gables series and many other books.
I picked it up because I love to read journals in general, and also because I know that the author took great enjoyment from spending time outdoors, enjoying the natural environment on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
This photo of L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site
of Canada is courtesy of TripAdvisor
I wanted to read about her experiences there, and was curious to know what influences and lifestyle produced such a successful author. Was it the solitude of living in a remote area? Did she have siblings, or did she enjoy a quiet household? (Yes, no, and yes.)
This large book seemed daunting, and I didn’t think I’d read the whole thing, but I couldn’t put it down until I’d read the last page. Her style of writing is so engaging —even in her journals.
Throughout her journal entries, she mentions books that she is reading. I was excited to find that I have read a few of the books she read! Here is a partial list of the most well-known titles, about a third of the complete list. (And by the way, as she was born in 1874, she would have read these books between the ages of 14 and 24!)
The Ascent of Man
The Diary of Virginia Woolf
(Ralph Waldo) Emerson’s Essays,
George Eliot’s Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals
King Solomon’s Mines
Last Days of Pompeii
The Last of the Mohicans
More Tramps Abroad (also called “Following the Equator”)
Rip Van Winkle
The Scarlet Letter
To Have and To Hold
With classics such as these under her belt as such a young age, it’s no wonder she produced such quality writing of her own.
Which ones have you read? If you are interested in reading some of these books on the list for free, electronically or online, you very well might find them at Gutenberg.org or Archives.org.
And if you like reading journals and diaries, here are some of my previous posts about some interesting ones:
Mark Twain’s Exerpts from Adam’s Diary and Eve’s Diary
The Diary of Anna Green Winslow
Illustration from a 1908 publication of Anne of Green Gables