Emily of New Moon

Emily of New Moon

Emily of New Moon is the first in a series of novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Plot summary

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, pale skin, and a unique "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 doesn't 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 isn't 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 won't 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. 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.

ISBN Year published Publication details
ISBN 0770417981 1983 Seal, Mass Market Paperback
ISBN 0318330199 1988 Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, paperback
ISBN 0207174571 1970 Cornstalk, hardcover


The book has been translated into numerous languages, including the following.

  • Runotyttö (Finnish)
  • Emilka ze Srebrnego Nowiu (Polish)
  • Emily (Swedish)
  • Emily, la de Luna Nueva (Spanish)
  • Kawaii Emily (Japanese)
  • ''Emilie de la Nouvelle Lune


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 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.


External links

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