This post is part of a series featuring individual members of the international, interdisciplinary editorial board of the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies. Read about editorial board members' achievements and their reflections on L.M. Montgomery.
Rita Bode is professor of English Literature at Trent University where she teaches in a wide range of courses. Her main area of research interest is nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature, mainly American and British, with a special interest in transatlantic studies and in women writers, of which her work on L. M. Montgomery is a part. She has co-edited two volumes of critical essays on Montgomery: L. M. Montgomery's Rainbow Valleys: the Ontario Years, 1911-1942, with Lesley Clement (MQUP, 2015); and L. M. Montgomery and the Matter of Nature(s), with Jean Mitchell (MQUP, 2018). Other recent publications include chapters on Harriet Beecher Stowe and George Eliot: “Among the Prophets: Harriet Beecher Stowe and George Eliot in Italy,” in Transatlantic Conversations: Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Encounters with Italy and the Atlantic World (U of New Hampshire P, 2017); and on Edith Wharton and George Eliot: “Wharton’s Italian Women: ‘My Beloved Romola,’” in Edith Wharton and Cosmopolitanism (UP of Florida, 2016). Work-in-progress includes editing the volume of Edith Wharton’s novellas in the Oxford University Press project, The Complete Works of Edith Wharton. She is happy and feels honoured to be on the editorial board of the Journal of L. M. Montgomery Studies.
We asked the journal editorial board members some questions. Here are Dr. Rita Bode's responses:
What excites you about being a journal editorial board member?
Rita: This journal is the beginning of a great venture that provides a space for scholarship to go in exciting new directions with Montgomery, her place in literary studies, in relations to various literary traditions, critical trends and theories – endless possibilities that will continue to expand the scholarship on Montgomery and her work.
What does being an editorial board member mean to you?
Rita: I feel really honoured to be on the board.
Where do you see L.M. Montgomery studies in 50 years?
Rita: Continuing to thrive and making a significant impact in literary and interdisciplinary studies.
What was Montgomery's greatest accomplishment?
Rita: As an author, she created such enduring characters whose complexity continues to reveal things about human interactions, vulnerabilities, and achievements.
Some L.M. Montgomery favourites:
What is your favourite line from Montgomery?
Rita: I have many favourites, but if I have to pick one I will go with one from Jane of Lantern Hill, when Montgomery writes at the father’s and daughter’s first meeting after their long separation: “’This Jane person,’ dad remarked to the ceiling, ‘knows her onions.’”
What's your favourite Montgomery place, either a fictional or real site?
Rita: The Leaskdale manse because of all the things that Montgomery experienced there and because of the care with which it has been restored by the L.M. Montgomery Society of Ontario.
Who is your favourite fictional Montgomery duo?
Rita: Marilla and Matthew.
Some final thoughts:
Where is the most interesting place you've been while reading Montgomery?
Rita: Every place is interesting when reading LMM.
Which work would you most like to see adapted and what medium would you like to see it adapted to?
Rita: I would like to see more of her works adapted into stage dramas.