The character of Shirley

After reading an intreging beginning of Shirley of Avonlea, I began to wonder what LMM had planned for Shirley when she created his character. While many believe LMM ignored Nan and Di as well as Shirley for most of Rilla of Ingleside, Shirley was also ignored in Rainbow valley and Anne of Ingleside, where a short story involving Shirley could easily have been added. I suspect when LMM wrote and created the children in RV she knew what she wanted to do with all of them in RofI. Was Shirley created simply because LMM wanted three sons that went to war? Did she just want a special pet for Susan? Did she plan to develop Shirley's character more but just never got around to it?
4 Responses
  1. I never got that impression. I always thought Shirley was more of a use for tying in Susan than anything else. As much as I want to know more about him, I don't think that she planned to develope him further.

  2. LMM wrote Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside *before* Anne of Ingleside, though. So yes, she knew what was gonig to happen with Shirley.

    I think she just wanted Anne to have more kids, though.

  3. I think that in all litereature there are characters that we would have liked to have known better but for one reason or another, they aren't fleshed out.

    Think of the many memorable characters in the 8 "Anne" books. Some we got to now really well, and some we knew just by little blurbs here and there. The last two Anne books that were written, I don't think she intentionally left him out, she was just more focused on Rilla, Jem, and Walter. We all do it with characters from one time or another. We all have discussed how difficult it is to write something interesting for so many characters. Sometimes in order to flesh out some characters, you have to neglect some others.

  4. Blythetwin Says:

    Good point. She created so many characters... I guess it would have been impossible to flesh them all out as much as us fans would have liked.