Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery Photo

Lucy Maud Montgomery was a world renowned Canadian author most well known for her Anne of Green Gables series of novels. In addition to these novels which made her a success all over the world, she also has a total of 500 poems, 30 essays and 530 short stories to her credit. She was inducted in to the Order of the British Empire as an Officer, in 1935. Following her death in 1942, Montgomery’s work, diaries and letters have been the subject of research and have been studied by numerous scholars, readers and fans all over the world.

Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in November 30, 1874, in the city of New London (formerly known as Clifton), Prince Edward Island, to Hugh John and Clara Woolner Macneill Montgomery. Her mother passed away when she was 2 year old, which promoted her family to hand over her custody to her maternal grandparents, Alexander Marquis Macneill and Lucy Woolner Macneill. Montgomery recalled their treatment of her as harsh and unforgiving, causing her to become a recluse that would fuel her creative imagination later on in life. She completed her early education in Cavendish and then proceeded to attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, where she studied to acquire a teacher’s license. In 1895 she entered Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia as a student of literature and succeeded in obtaining the teaching certificate. She put these skills to use by finding work as a teacher in various island schools and while she was not enthusiastic about her profession, she continued it as it provided her with the chance to focus on her writing. Being known as a fashionable young woman, Montgomery attracted the attention of many young men and after a fair number of affairs, married Ewan Macdonald in 1911. By 1908, she had already publish her first Anne novel, which had brought her international recognition. She proceeded to write subsequent novels based on Anne, as well as other young female characters throughout her life, such as Anne of Green Gables (1908), Anne of Avonlea (1909), Anne of the Island (1915), Anne of Windy Poplars (1936), Anne’s House of Dreams (1917), Anne of Ingleside (1939), Rainbow Valley (1919), Rilla of Ingleside (1921), Emily of New Moon (1923), Emily Climbs (1925), Emily’s Quest (1927), The Story Girl (1911), The Golden Road (1913), Kilmeny of the Orchard (1910), The Blue Castle (1926), Magic for Marigold (1929), A Tangled Web (1931), Jane of Lantern Hill (1937), as well as large collections of poems like Chronicles of Avonlea (1912), Further Chronicles of Avonlea (1920) and The Road To Yesterday (1974). Unfortunately, while she continued to attract attention and praise, she was never able to replicate the widespread recognition she had received with her Anne novels.

Lucy Maud Montgomery passed away in Toronto as a result of coronary thrombosis on April 24, 1942 amidst an ocean of controversy. On her deathbed, Montgomery left a note which made many believe that she had committed suicide which further strengthened when her granddaughter later confirmed that Montgomery was struggling with chronic depression, while some believed that the note found on her death bed was instead meant for a now irrecoverable journal of writings.  She was buried at the Cavendish Community Cemetery. Following her funeral, the L.M. Montgomery Institute was founded in 1993 and volumes of her major collections were archived at the University of Guelph. Her home in Leaskdale Manse, Ontario and the area surrounding the Green Gables and her Cavendish home in Prince Edward Island were both shortly designated into National Historic Sites of Canada index. Since her death, a number of biographies that dealt with her life have been published, as well as numerous works of her have been adapted in media, making sure that her legacy thrives for generations yet to come.

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