Tag: Friday Facts

Friday Facts || Awesome trivia from LM Montgomery’s “The Story Girl”

Two weeks ago, a review of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s The Story Girl went live on this blog. Hopefully, you’ve already had the opportunity to read this gem of a book.

Raving aside, there are other awesome things about this novel–things I didn’t know the first time I read The Story Girl. Luckily, the novel had an Afterword which provided its readers a view or a glimpse of LM Montgomery’s world. Here are a few things I would like to share to you all.

  1. LM. Montgomery, also known as Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of this book was more known as the author of the widely popular Anne of Green Gables. She has written twenty novels, and over sixty short stories.
  2. Montgomery’s Scottish forbears played a great part in this novel, as she grew up listening and telling anecdotes, legends, and myths from Scotland.
  3. This became the basis, or rather, background in creating the titular character.
  4. The character Peter Craig has a resemblance to Montgomery’s former sweetheart Herman Leard.
  5. As Montgomery was leaving her home island–Prince Edward Island, she suddenly became nostalgic.
  6. Montgomery’s teenage years were the inspiration of The Story Girl.

Friday Fact || In Flanders fields, where poppies blow

In history and literature, there’s no other flower that has made a mark than the poppy.

Poppies (scientific name: papaveracaeae) are small flowering plants, often herbaceous, often grown for their flowers. They have also been used for medicine. One species, the papaver somniferum is the source of opium.

So, how did the poppy gain so much significance?

It was during the First World War where trench warfare in France was raging. So many men and animals have died, and their blood, along with the nitrogen from explosives and lime from shattered infrastructures such as houses and buildings, fertilised the soil to such an extent that poppies flooded the fields of France and Belgium. Constant bombardment of the soil also disturbed the soil, bringing the seeds to the surface.

And the longer the war raged, more soldiers were being killed, the more the poppies thrived.

Soldiers wrote home about the poppies, and so did the poets. One of them was John McCrae, a Canadian doctor at a field hospital. He wrote In Flanders Fields after burying his friend, a fellow officer in the Canadian army. The poem was published in Punch, a popular publication. In millennial-speak, the poem became “viral” almost immediately. The poppies became the symbol of the war dead; the souls of soldiers killed in action between 1914 and 1918 becoming flowers.

An American professor named Moina Michael brought about the poppies’ “popularity”. Inspired by McCrae’s poem, she wore a poppy in remembrance of the fallen soldiers. Moina also helped out in war efforts, assisting in training YMCA workers. After the war, while holding classes for disabled servicemen, Moina realised that she needed to provide continual financial assistance to those servicemen. This prompted her to sell silk poppies as a means of raising funds for the veterans.

In 1921, her efforts have resulted in the poppy being adopted as a symbol of remembrance in America, as well as Britain.

You can learn more about the First World War here, here, and here.

Reference and image source here.

Reference for Moina Michael