Bound by canon?

I forgot to mention in my last post: I've started reading The Blythes are Quoted. I got it for Christmas. And...I kind of HATE it. I thought it was interesting, the way Maud was experimenting with different writing styles and forms of storytelling, and I liked some of the teasing moments between Anne and Gilbert but I'm not a fan of LMM's short stories in general, and these are not even her best. The working of the Blythes into every story seems really uncomfortably forced, and there are a few moments with Walter that are just too much (Walter: I hope I meet a friend like that someday. A Voice no one hears: You will. And his name will be death.) !!!

But anyway. One of the most surprising things I found, leafing through the book, was that LMM mentions several of Anne and Gilbert's grandchildren. There's Gilbert Ford, who was mentioned in the Road to Yesterday, who seems to be somewhat of a ladies man, and Walter Blythe, Jem and Faith's son, who is a poet like his namesake. But apparently there is also a Jem Jr, a Di Meredith (Nan's daughter), a Rilla Ford (Rilla and Ken's daughter), and an "Anne" whose parents are not given. There are more grandchildren, whose names aren't given, but it is mentioned that "several" of Dr. Gilbert Blythe's grandsons are going away to fight in WWII.

I've always tried to have a Walter Blythe and Gilbert Ford in all of my stories about the third generation, seeing as I kind of sort of considered The Road to Yesterday to be canon. But even though The Blythes are Quoted is being billed as #9 in the Anne series, I don't know whether I consider it canon enough to include these characters in my works. I kind of don't want to, as I don't like the book--but also because to have another Di, Jem, Walter, Gilbert, Anne AND Rilla would be a little confusing!

What do you think? Do you feel that you must stick to LMM's works as she set them out? Or are you not worried about it?
6 Responses
  1. I've always thought that Gilbert Ford and Walter Blythe II should be canon, but as to the others.... I don't know entirely. I wouldn't be surprised if Nan and Di named their daughters for each other, hence the Di Meredith and "Anne." I imagine Anne would be Di's daughter, and would be named for both her aunt and her grandmother.

    As to Jem JR and Rilla part Deaux, eh, it's entirely plausible but probably not imperative that you follow it. I mean, honestly, it's not imperative that you follow any of these "suggestions," because all in all this generation of grandchildren are mainly original characters.


  2. Maybe in ten years of so, BAQ will be considered canon ... I don't think anyone is going to be too rigid about following LMM's naming choices in it right now, especially as it is so new. I ended up throwing out Gilbert Ford and Walter Blythe in my last batch of stories, and honestly, I think it was the best choice I ever made.

    It makes sense, in a real life sort of way, that the third generation would reuse old family names, especially since almost all of Anne and Gilbert's kids were names for someone in the family. Story-wise, I agree, it gets too confusing to have everyone keep sharing names; if you're not going to use distinct nicknames, readers can't keep up. (In the last of the Katy Did books, there's three generations of Philip, but they are kept distinct w/ Dr Carr, Phil or Philly, and the third is a girl - Philippa - and they call her Philidda.) About the only way you could get away with another Rilla Ford, I think, would be if everyone called her Princess or something!

    If you're really concerned, you can always mark your stories as AU as concerns BAQ.


  3. Cath Says:

    Oh! I meant to say...Di is not married in this book but they do allude to a sort of shadowy and mysterious "beau." Una is still living at home and Mrs. Blythe also suspected her love for Walter. There's still not much for Shirley--poor guy.

    I especially can't see Rilla naming her daughter Rilla as she hated that name. Maybe Ken did it while she was loopy from birth? But in a lot of ways, with these stories...I think that there was a REASON LMM didn't fight so hard to get them published. You almost get the idea that they were something she wrote to put a cap on things...for HERSELF.


  4. Cath Says:

    I just had a thought...since most of these stories are ones in which the Blythes are talked about instead of appearing...who is to say that the people talking got the names right? When they call Rilla's daughter "Rilla Ford" maybe they are saying that she's a "little Rilla Ford" and not that her name is actually Rilla? Or maybe Nan's daughter's first name is Diana but she goes by her middle name?

    At least, that is how I'm choosing to see it. :)


  5. Heaven knows that ack home I'm just another Scott - the one who looks so much like her daddy, poor George.


  6. Totally probable - half of my family refers to my daughters as "little Emilys" (which drives. me. nuts.) so if Rilla's daughter looks and/or acts even remotely like her mother, I could definitely see the Glen folk simply referring to her as "little Rilla Ford." And with Di Meredith - maybe Glen folk insist on calling her Di, but she herself prefers, as you said, a different name for the very reason that she prefers to be distinct from her aunt. Certainly the more people called me, as a kid, "Carrie Jr," the more determined I was to not be ANYTHING like my mother, even though I loved and respected her.