"Anne of Green Gables" was published in 1908 by L. M. Montgomery. Although she wrote it for all ages, since the mid-twentieth century it has been known as a children's book. The story follows the life of an eleven-year-old orphan girl who is adopted into the family of an elderly brother and sister. She moves into their home at Green Gables, a farm in Prince Edward Island in … [Read more...]
L. M. Montgomery is the pen name of Lucy Maud Montgomery. She was born in 1874 in Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Her mother died shortly after her birth and her father were so devastated that he was unable to care for her. He left her with her grandparents. They were very strict with her. Since her childhood was so lonely, Montgomery had a lot of imaginary friends who helped her become very creative.
Except for one year that she spent with her father and stepmother, Montgomery completed her early school years in Cavendish where she lived with her grandparents. In 1893 she attended the Prince Wales College where she earned her teacher's license. Afterward she finished a two-year program in one year at the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in literature.
After leaving University, Montgomery worked as a teacher. Although she didn't like the job very much, she was given lots of time to write. From the years 1897 to 1907 she had over one hundred short stories published. In her mid-twenties, Montgomery lived with her widowed grandmother and began to earn a good income as a writer. Although she was earning her way, she realized that she still needed to get married because she felt it was a necessary choice for women.
In 1908 she published her first book, "Anne of Green Gables" and continued writing for the rest of her life. She married a Presbyterian minister, Ewen McDonald in 1911 and moved to Ontario. They had three children; the second child was stillborn. Her husband suffered from a depressive disorder, and she was very unhappy. She found her solace in writing. In 1920 Montgomery quit writing about Anne and began to create other characters such as Emily and Pat. These weren't as popular as the Anne books, so she went back to writing them fifteen years later.
Montgomery suffered from depression after the many years tending to her husband and died of coronary thrombosis in 1942. Because of hr depression, her family thought she might have died of a drug overdose. She left a note near her bed that covered her spells of forgetfulness and the untenable sadness she felt. Some think the note may have been a journal entry while others believe that it might have been a suicide note.
During her lifetime she published twenty novels, over five hundred short stories, and autobiography and also a book of poems. Realizing her fame would make her journals interesting to further generations, Montgomery edited and copied her journals so her legacy would be interpreted the way she wanted. She took out anything that would make her seem unhappy so that she would be remembered well.
Although her characters, especially Anne, have been loved by generations, Montgomery never felt she had written the "one great book." Montgomery was the first Canadian female to be named a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in England, and she was given the Order of the British Empire in 1935. She became a worldwide celebrity and every year thousands of tourists from all over the world visit her Green Gabled Victorian farmhouse in Cavendish on Prince Edward Island.