Chronicles of Avonlea is a collection of short stories by L. M. Montgomery, related to the Anne of Green Gables series. It features an abundance of stories relating to the fictional Canadian village of Avonlea, and was first published in 1912. Sometimes marketed as a book in the Anne Shirley series, Anne plays only a minor role in the book: out of the 12 stories in the collection, she stars in only one ("The Hurrying of Ludovic"), and has a small supporting role in another ("The Courting of Prissy Strong"). She is otherwise only briefly mentioned in passing in five other stories: "Each in His Own Tongue", '"Little Joscelyn"', "The Winning of Lucinda", '"Quarantine at Alexander Abraham's" and "The End of a Quarrel".
Other Avonlea residents from the Anne series are also referenced in passing, including Marilla Cuthbert and Mrs. Rachel Lynde. As well, there are brief appearances made by Diana Barry, the Reverend Mr. Allan, and his wife. Alice Penhallow from "The Winning of Lucinda" would be mentioned later in Anne of the Island; in fact, the wedding of Alice Penhallow that Anne mentions she will be attending in chapter XLI of Anne of the Island is the setting for the story "The Winning of Lucinda". The Penhallow family are also the central characters of Montgomery's later novel A Tangled Web, though these Penhallows would appear to be a different branch of the family.
The majority of stories, though, are about residents of Avonlea (and surrounding towns) who are never mentioned in the Anne novels. One reason for this is that most of the short stories in this volume were written and published by Montgomery in various magazines before Anne of Green Gables was even conceived. With the great success of Anne of Green Gables in 1908 and the sequel Anne of Avonlea in 1909, Montgomery was under pressure from her publisher to deliver more stories about Anne. Accordingly, she reworked the settings of several previously published non-Avonlea stories to incorporate references to Avonlea, as well as inserting several references to Anne Shirley and some of the town's other characters. The whole was then marketed as a new companion book to the Anne series.
The book is dedicated: "To the memory of MRS WILLIAM A. HOUSTON, a dear friend who has gone beyond."
About the Author
The first novel was followed by a series of sequels with Anne as the central character. Montgomery went on to publish 20 novels as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays. Most of the novels were set in Prince Edward Island, and locations within Canada's smallest province became a literary landmark and popular tourist site - namely Green Gables farm, the genesis of Prince Edward Island National Park. She was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935.
Montgomery's work, diaries and letters have been read and studied by scholars and readers worldwide.