Friday, October 20, 2006

The story behind 'Gog and Magog'.... well LMM's ones!

I thought i'll post this up as I have had questions from a few people as to who exactly are these 'Gog and Magog' things I described in my post at PEI..... To put it simply - they are a pair of china dogs with green spots on them. Magog sits on the left and Gog to the right. Gog and Magog initially 'starred' in Anne of the Island when Anne went to stay at 'Patty's Place' (yep I can tell i've lost some of you already). I think in the book, LMM states that Gog & Magog sit beside the fireplace, but in actual fact they sit on the mantle, being smaller than I thought. Anyway - here is the speel on the card:

Gog and Magog are the names of the two antique china dogs that L M Montgoemry introduced in Anne of the Island. The dogs sat on the hearth in the parlour of "Patty's Place", the cottage that Anne and her friends lived in while attending college in Nova Scotia.

A few years later, the owners of the cottage - Miss Patty and Miss Maria, sent Gog and Magog to Anne and Gilbert as a wedding gift. They resided on their hearth that the "house of Dreams" and then at "Ingleside".

The china dogs in the Anne books were inspired by the ones that belonged to LMM's grandfather, Senator Donald Montgomery of Park Corner PEI. They were brought over from Englandin 1775 by Captain James Townsend, an early settler on the island and ancestor of Montgomery.

As a child she was fascinated by the dogs - Gog who looked to the right and Magog who looked to the left - and the story her father told her about them. He said that when Gog and Magog heard the clock srike midnight, they would come to tlife, jump down from the mantle and run around the room! Although she was very disappointed to learn later that the story was not true, Montgomery was intrigued by the dogs throughout her life. In 1911, while travelling to England on her wedding trip, she bought two pairs of china dogs for her own (although these had gold spots).

Although Gog was broken (over 100 years ago), Magog continues to guard the Montgomery family mantle to this day! Visitors are welcome to see him at the Montgomery Heritage Museumin Park Corner (and some very lucky people get to cuddle him *g*!)

Written by Carolyn Storm Collins.

Hope that explains it for anyone interested and that you realise that there is a story behind them and not just some dogs that the 'dog obsessed' Amanda would have loved LOL!

1 comment:

Tony Collins said...

Hello, I am doing an annotated edition of Anne's House of Dreams and was looking around for information on Gog and Magog. I sort of knew it but more up on her "Kirkaldy cat" (long story -- was in fact at Park Corner PEi myself just a few weeks ago doing research). Your description is great -- I hope you don't mind if I borrow some of it! Will thank you in the credits. Book to be published by Rock's Mills Press (www.rocksmills.com) and by the way we've just brought out her complete journals. Yikes, I am coming up with my husband's name (Tony COllins) but I am Jen Rubio (jen.rubio@rocksmillspress.com)