|Emily Byrd Starr|
|Also known as|
Emily Byrd Starr was born on May 19 to Douglas Starr and Juliet Murray in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in the early 20th century. She was named after her father's mother. Juliet Murray died suddenly of tuberculosis when Emily was four years old. The Murrays offered to take her in at this point, but her father would not be separated from his child.
Douglas Starr was a poor journalist who nourished his daughter's taste for literature and taught her from home. The two eventually moved to Maywood into what the local townsfolk called "the house in the hollow."
From early on, Emily had a wild imagination and found friends in all natural elements around her such as the wind she referred to as "The Wind Woman" and the trees surrounding the house which she named according to their specific shapes. She owned two cats, Mike and Saucy Sal, that were very dear to her. Emily saw an imaginary alter ego in "Emily-in-the-glass," her reflection in mirrors with whom she held occasional conversations. A budding author, Emily wrote her thoughts and descriptions of people and places in an old account book. She found great relief from this when she experienced frustration, pain or even when something's beauty hurt her too deeply. At times, Emily experienced "the flash," and she suddenly felt "very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside -but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond -only a glimpse- and heard a note of unearthly music." Ellen Greene, a Maywood woman Douglas Starr had hired to help with domestic chores was also part of the Starr household. Douglas Starr became ill and died from tuberculosis when Emily was eleven years old.
The Murray clan came to Maywood to attend Douglas Starr's funeral and determine who would be responsible for Emily's upbringing. Emily having received little discipline and showing an impudent character displeased most of her relatives. It was decided by a draw that Emily would be taken to New Moon Farm in Blair Water where her Cousin Jimmy and aunts Elizabeth and Laura lived. Emily was satisfied with this since Jimmy and Laura Murray had a kind and accepting attitude towards her. With much fussing from her stern Aunt Elizabeth, she was allowed to take her cat Saucy Sal with her. Emily felt compelled to burn the old account book when Elizabeth Murray decided to read its content. She later grieved its loss as that of a beloved person's passing.
Life at New Moon Edit
After her father's death Emily went to live at New Moon Farm with her Aunt Elizabeth, Aunt Laura and Cousin Jimmy.
- "She put the faded blue hood on over her long, heavy braid of glossy, jet-black hair, and smiled chummily at her reflection in the little greenish glass. The smile began at the corners of her lips and spread over her face in a slow, subtle, very wonderful way, as Douglas Starr often thought. It was her dead mother's smile--the thing that had caught and held him long ago when he had first seen Juliet Murray. It seemed to be Emily's only physical inheritance from her mother. In all else, he thought, she was like the Starrs--in her large, purplish-grey eyes with their very long lashes and black brows, in her high, white forehead--too high for beauty--in the delicate modelling of her pale oval face and sensitive mouth, in the little ears that were pointed just a wee bit to show that she was kin to tribes of elfland."
- —Emily of New Moon, Chapter 1[src]
Emily Byrd Starr is described as rather tall with a pale complexion, glossy black hair and purplish-grey eyes. She has an oval face with a high forehead that was "too high for beauty". Her pointed ears and delicate ankles are reminiscent of an elf's.
Emily is a female given name of Latin origin and means rival, labourious or eager.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Emily Byrd Starr was portrayed by Canadian actresses Sarah Briand (young Emily) and Martha MacIsaac on the Emily of New Moon television series. This series focused much on Emily's gift of second sight and added many visions and paranormal experiences to her story.
- Many elements of Emily Byrd Starr's life mirror the author's, making this trilogy highly autobiographical in nature.