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'Emily of New Moon' is the first in a series of novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery about the development of a writer. It was first published in 1923.
Similar to her earlier and more famous 'Anne of Green Gables' series, the 'Emily' novels depicted life through the eyes of a young orphan girl, Emily Starr, who is raised by her relatives after her father dies of consumption. The series was less romanticized and more realistic than the 'Anne' novels. Montgomery considered Emily to be a character much closer to her own personality than Anne, and some of the events which occur in the 'Emily' series happened to Montgomery herself. Emily is described as having black hair, purply violet eyes, pale skin and a unique and enchanting "slow" smile.
Emily Starr is sent to live at New Moon Farm on Prince Edward Island with her aunts Elizabeth and Laura Murray and her Cousin Jimmy. She makes friends with Ilse Burnley, Teddy Kent, and Perry Miller, the hired boy, who Aunt Elizabeth looks down upon because he was born in 'Stovepipe Town', a poorer district. Each of the children has a special gift. Emily was born to be a writer, Teddy is a gifted artist, Ilse is a talented elocutionist, and Perry has the makings of a great politician. They also each have a few problems with their families. Emily has a hard time getting along with Aunt Elizabeth, who does not understand her need to write. Ilse's father, Dr. Burnley, ignores Ilse most of the time because of a dreadful secret concerning Ilse's mother. Teddy's mother is jealous of her son's talents and friends, fearing that his love for them will eclipse his love for her; as a result, she hates Emily, Teddy's drawings, and even his pets. Perry is not as well off as the other three, so his Aunt Tom once tries to make Emily promise to marry Perry when they grow up, threatening that unless Emily does so, she will not pay for Perry's schooling.
Other unforgettable characters are Dean "Jarback" Priest, a quiet, mysterious cynic who wants something he fears is ever unattainable; fiery Mr Carpenter, the crusty old schoolteacher who is Emily's mentor and honest critic when it comes to evaluating her stories and poems; "simple" Cousin Jimmy, who recites his poetry when the spirit moves him; and strict, suspicious Aunt Ruth who yet proves to be an unexpected ally in times of trouble.
The three 'Emily' novels are 'Emily of New Moon' (1923), 'Emily Climbs' (1925) and 'Emily's Quest' (1927). The series follows Emily through her school years and her climb up the symbolic "Alpine Path" to becoming a successful author (the Alpine Path is a phrase from a poem which was inspirational to her from a young age). The later books also follow Emily through several romances and adventures. Emily is a heroine with a love for the beauty in nature and art, loyalty to her friends, a thirst for knowledge, and a passionate dedication to her writing.
Since its original publication in 1923, the book has never gone out of print. The most popular editions of the book include the following.
TranslationsThe book has been translated into numerous languages, including the following.
* 'Kumkunen Emily(Emily Dreming)' and 'Emily, Chowon ew Bit(Emily, the Light on the plain)'(Korean)
* 'Emlija no Jaun mness' (Latvian)
* 'Pieni runotytt' (Finnish)
* 'Emilka ze Srebrnego Nowiu' (Polish)
* 'Emily' (Swedish)
* 'Emily, la de Luna Nueva' (Spanish)
* 'Emily della Luna Nuova' (Italy)
* 'Kawaii Emily' (Japanese)
* 'Emilie de la Nouvelle Lune' (French)
* 'Emily auf der Moon-Farm' (German)
* 'Emily-Dokhtare Darrehaye Sabz' (Persian)
* 'Emily z Novho Mesiaca' (Slovak)
* 'Emily trang tri trng non' (Ting Vit)
The novels were adapted into a TV series by Salter Street Films and CBC Television in 1998. It was filmed on Prince Edward Island and starred local children. The series currently airs on Canada's Vision TV in English and TLN in Spanish, and in the USA on This TV.
The series is also currently available on Hulu.
In April 2007, the novels were adapted into a 26-episode animated television series in Japan called 'Kaze no Shoujo Emily' (Emily, The Wind Girl). The series was produced by NHK and Tokyo Movie Shinsha.
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