Today, June 20th, is the actual day one hundred years ago that Lucy Maud Montgomery first held the newly published Anne of Green Gables in her hand. Despite being a prolific diarist, Montgomery wrote very little in her journal about either the process of writing Anne, or the aftermath of its publication. But she did express her pleasure and her joy on that momentous day. Here is her journal entry in its entirety:
Saturday, June 20, 1908
Today has been, as Anne herself would say "an epoch in my life". My book came to-day, fresh from the publishers. I candidly confess that it was for me a proud, wonderful, thrilling moment! There in my hand lay the material realization of all the dreams and hopes and ambitions and struggles of my whole conscious existence—my first book! Not a great book at all—but mine, mine, mine,—something to which I had given birth—something which, but for me, would never have existed. As far as appearance goes the book is all I could desire—lovely cover design, well bound, well printed. Anne will not fail for lack of suitable garbing at all events.
On the dedication page was the inscription "To the memory of my father and mother". Oh, if they were but living to be glad and proud. When I think of how father's eyes would have shone!
From Mary Rubio & Elizabeth Waterston, eds., The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery, Volume I: 1889-1910 (1985).