Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) writer

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery was born on November 30, 1874 in a small wooden house in a village of Clifton in the province of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Her parents were Hugh John Montgomery and Clara Woolner Macneill Montgomery. She was named Maud by her mother and she got Lucy after her mother's mother. So she had two firstnames but she was known Maud only. Her parents were from honourable, honest families. Maud's great-grandfather on her mother's side was member of the legislative authority of Prince Edward Island, her grandfather on her father's side was member of the Parliament of Prince Edward Island for over 30 years. She figured her later character, Anne Shirley from herself, her environment, years of her youth and from people around her. She grew up on countryside with elder foster parents as Anne.

She was only 21 months old when her mother died of tuberculosis. Her father moved out west to Prince Albert (Saskatchewan), leaving Maud behind with her grandparents Alexander and Lucy Macneill living in Cavendish, a village on north shore of the island. Although numerous relatives lived close to Maud, each of them were quite older than her. She entertained herself with books and imagined playmates instead of real ones. (Anne Shirley had an imagined playmate also: Katie Maurice.) Maud fell sick seriously when she was 5 years old, she got typhoid fever, but fortunately she recovered. At school Maud was very sensitive to teasing, and it didn't help that her grandmother made her come home for lunch instead of eating with the other children, and wear ugly aprons with sleeves. She also had problems with some strict and cruel teachers, one of which became her model for Miss Brownell in Emily of New Moon.

Maud always knew she'd be a writer. She began to read at a very early age, and she wrote her first poem at age 9. At this time she also started to keep a diary, a habit that she would continue for the rest of her life. When Maud was 12, she submitted a poem to an American magazine, and was crushed when it was rejected. The next year, she sent it again to a local magazine, and when it was rejected Maud was so devestated that she vowed never to send any poems for publication again.

Green Gables - Cavendish

In 1890 Maud moved out west to the continent with her father and they lived again together after 16 years. In February 1891 Maud's article was published in Charlottetown paper, The Daily Patriot on the first page, then Prince Albert Times published her next article in June of the next year. Although she loved to live in Prince Albert, she got homesick in 1891. She missed her friends, relatives from Cavendish, so she moved back to Prince Edward Island. She never saw her father again. (Hugh John died 9 years later.) She learned on Prince of Wales College for 10 months, then she worked as a teacher in Bideford. She wrote beside teaching, her articles, stories was published often. She was admitted to Dalhousie University in Halifax in 1895, so she continued her studies. (Anne Shirley continued her studies in a similar way after her teaching.) In 1898 her grandfather died, she went back to Cavendish to take care of her grandmother, who could not take a charwoman. Maud tended and helped her until her dead in 1911 for 13 years. Maud wrote hundreds of short stories and poems during her years in Cavendish. She wrote her 4 novels here, one of them was Anne of Green Gables. She loved the world of nature - the sights and sounds of sea, the changing beauty of the seasons, wildflowers, lanes, trees and woods - and she had enormous talent for describing this world in her writing. Years passed and she longed for a husband. She had several beaux, but she met a presbiterian minister, Ewan MacDonald at last. She did not love him but respected his social and intellectual status. They did not get married until her grandmother's death but they became engaged.

In this time (1904-1905) Maud wrote her novel, Anne of Green Gables, which was published in a magazine for girls in several short parts. LMM fell in love with her characters and enlarged her story as long as a book. She sent her script to several publishers but they did not accept it. Maud lost interest in tryings, so she put it aside. After some months she changed some things in it and sent it to publishers again. One of them accepted her script and published it in a book on 20 June 1908. Maud intended her book to young girls and did not understand its success. She got mails from various parts of the world from readers in different ages and genders and from famous writers (Mark Twain also praised her work). Montgomery started to write continuation on her publisher's advice and she wrote 8 books of Anne's life and family. The last one was published in 1939.

Maud's grandmother died in 1911, so she married Ewan MacDonald (11 July 1911). They moved to Leaskdale, Ontario, where Rev. MacDonald was the new minister. She liked Leaskdale but did not love it as Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. Maud was a conscientious minister wife. She had a significant role in leading life of the community, brought up their two sons, Chester was born in 1912 and Stuart in 1915. Beside her tasks she did not neglected writing. Emily-trilogy was born in this time. Maud and Ewan moved to Norval in 1926, then moved to Toronto in 1935 after Ewan's retirement. Although MacDonald-family looked like a happy and balanced family from outside, this was not true in the real life. Ewan got nervous depression and this depression had an effect on Maud's life. Maud's state of health was getting worse in the beginning of the 30s. Maud got flue then a nervous breakdown in winter of 1937/38. She was not able to write and read at the end of 1941 because of her bad health. She died on 24 April 1942. She was buried in Cavendish in a small graveyard. Her husband, Ewan followed her in 1944.

Notable works

  • Anne of Green Gables (1908)
  • Anne of Avonlea (1909)
  • Kilmeny of the Orchard (1910)
  • The Story Girl (1911)
  • Chronicles of Avonlea (1912)
  • The Golden Road (1913)
  • Anne of the Island (1915)
  • Anne's House of Dreams (1917)
  • Rainbow Valley (1919)
  • Further Chronicles of Avonlea (1920)
  • Rilla of Ingleside (1921)
  • Emily of New Moon (1923)
  • Emily Climbs (1925)
  • The Blue Castle (1926)
  • Emily's Quest (1927)
  • Magic for Marigold (1929)
  • A Tangled Web (1931)
  • Pat of Silver Bush (1933)
  • Mistress Pat (1935)
  • Anne of Windy Poplars (1936)
  • Jane of Lantern Hill (1937)
  • Anne of Ingleside (1939)
  • The Road to Yesterday (1974)
  • The Watchman & Other Poems (1916) volume of poems
  • Courageous Women (1934)

Pictures of and in connection with Lucy Maud Montgomery