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L.M. Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery L.M. Montgomery[1†]

Lucy Maud Montgomery, often known as L.M. Montgomery, was a Canadian author best known for a series of novels beginning with “Anne of Green Gables,” published in 1908. The book was an immediate success, and Montgomery went on to write several sequels featuring Anne Shirley, an imaginative, talkative, red-headed orphan who is mistakenly sent to live with a spinster and her brother in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island.

Montgomery’s work, imbued with her own experiences growing up in Prince Edward Island, has resonated with readers around the world, making her one of Canada’s most widely read authors. Her stories have been translated into multiple languages and have inspired numerous adaptations, including films, television series, and stage plays.

Early Years and Education

Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in New London on Prince Edward Island, Canada, on November 30, 1874[1†]. Her mother, Clara Woolner (née Macneill) Montgomery, died of tuberculosis when Maud was just 21 months old[1†][2†]. Stricken with grief, her father, Hugh John Montgomery, placed Maud in the custody of her maternal grandparents, Alexander Marquis Macneill and Lucy Woolner Macneill, in the community of Cavendish, Prince Edward Island[1†].

Montgomery’s early life in Cavendish was very lonely[1†]. Despite having relatives nearby, much of her childhood was spent alone[1†][3†]. She created imaginary friends and worlds to cope with her loneliness, and Montgomery credited this time of her life with developing her creativity[1†]. Her imaginary friends were named Katie Maurice and Lucy Gray and lived in the “fairy room” behind the bookcase in the drawing room[1†].

Montgomery attended school near her grandparents’ home in Cavendish from the age of six[1†][3†]. In 1890, her first ever work was published in The Daily Patriot, a Charlottetown paper titled, ‘On Cape LeForce’[1†][2†]. After completing her preliminary education, she went on to attend Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown to attain her teacher’s license[1†][4†]. Interestingly, she completed the two-year course in a single year and obtained her teaching certificate[1†][2†]. From 1895 to 1896, she studied literature at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia[1†][2†].

Career Development and Achievements

After completing her studies, Montgomery embarked on her teaching career. She taught at three Island schools: Bideford, Belmont, and Lower Bedeque respectively[5†]. However, her passion for literature remained undiminished. She left teaching for one year (1895-1896) to study selected courses in English literature at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, becoming one of the few women of her time to seek higher education[5†].

Montgomery’s writing career began to take shape during this period. She achieved her first publication, a poem named “On Cape LeForce,” which was published by The Patriot, a Prince Albert newspaper[5†][3†]. This marked the beginning of her journey as a published author.

In 1908, Montgomery published her first novel, “Anne of Green Gables,” which was an immediate success[5†][1†]. The title character, orphan Anne Shirley, made Montgomery famous in her lifetime and gave her an international following[5†][1†]. Most of the novels were set on Prince Edward Island, and those locations within Canada’s smallest province became a literary landmark and popular tourist site[5†][1†].

Over her career, Montgomery published 20 novels, 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays[5†][1†]. Her work, diaries, and letters have been read and studied by scholars and readers worldwide[5†][1†]. She was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935[5†][1†].

First Publication of Her Main Works

L.M. Montgomery’s literary career began with the publication of her most famous work, “Anne of Green Gables,” in 1908[1†][6†]. This novel, which tells the story of an imaginative and fiery red-haired orphan named Anne Shirley, was an immediate success and established Montgomery’s reputation as a talented writer[1†][6†].

Following the success of “Anne of Green Gables,” Montgomery continued to captivate readers with a series of sequels, including “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), and “Rilla of Ingleside” (1921)[1†][6†][7†][8†]. These novels follow Anne Shirley’s life from her adolescence to adulthood, chronicling her experiences, friendships, and love life in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island[1†][6†].

In addition to the “Anne” series, Montgomery also wrote other notable works such as “Emily of New Moon” (1923), which is the first book in the “Emily” trilogy[1†][6†]. Like the “Anne” series, the “Emily” trilogy is also set on Prince Edward Island and features a young, imaginative female protagonist[1†][6†].

Here is a list of some of her main works along with their first year of publication:

Montgomery’s works have had a lasting impact on Canadian literature and continue to be enjoyed by readers worldwide[1†].

Analysis and Evaluation

L.M. Montgomery’s works, particularly the “Anne” series, have been widely recognized for their imagination, wit, drive, and humor[9†]. Her stories, set against the backdrop of Prince Edward Island, are known for their vivid descriptions of the landscape, which add a unique depth and richness to her narratives[9†].

Montgomery’s protagonist, Anne Shirley, is an imaginative and talkative orphan who is mistakenly sent to live with middle-aged siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert on their farm in Avonlea[9†][10†]. Anne’s character is spirited and unconventional, and her adventures and experiences form the crux of the series[9†][11†]. The character of Anne Shirley has become a mythic icon of Canadian culture[9†][12†].

The “Anne” series is a sentimental but charming coming-of-age story that has become a classic of children’s literature[9†][11†]. The series has been translated into at least 36 languages and has been adapted dozens of times in various mediums[9†][12†]. Montgomery’s ability to create such enduring and beloved characters attests to her creative genius[9†].

In addition to her storytelling, Montgomery’s works are also noted for their exploration of themes such as social relations, professional career, and the sources for characters in her novels[9†]. Researchers continue to find new ways to examine her body of work, in terms of empire and nation, sexuality and repression, performance and resistance, parody and allusion, space and place, memory and forgetting[9†][13†].

Montgomery’s works have had a lasting impact on Canadian literature and continue to be enjoyed by readers worldwide[9†]. Her body of work has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide[9†][12†].

Personal Life

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s personal life was marked by its own set of challenges and experiences. After the death of her mother, Clara Woolner Macneill, from tuberculosis when Montgomery was not yet two years old[12†], she was raised by her maternal grandparents in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island[12†][1†][12†]. Her father, Hugh John Montgomery, moved west to Prince Albert, North-West Territories (now Saskatchewan) in 1887[12†].

Her childhood was spent with strict, unaffectionate grandparents[12†][14†][15†]. Despite having relatives nearby, much of her childhood was spent alone[12†][1†]. She created imaginary friends and worlds to cope with her loneliness, and Montgomery credited this time of her life with developing her creativity[12†][1†]. Her imaginary friends were named Katie Maurice and Lucy Gray and lived in the “fairy room” behind the bookcase in the drawing room[12†][1†].

Montgomery had a strained relationship with her father’s new wife when she joined her father and his new family in 1890[12†]. Feeling homesick and disheartened by her marginal position in her father’s new home, Montgomery returned to the Macneill homestead in 1891[12†].

Her reflections on writing, her lifelong struggles with anxiety and depression, her “year of mad passion,” and her troubled married life remained locked away, buried deep within her unpublished journals[12†][14†][15†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s legacy is one of enduring popularity and influence. Her work, particularly “Anne of Green Gables,” has left an indelible mark on literature and continues to be celebrated worldwide[13†][12†]. Her books have circulated globally since “Anne of Green Gables” was published in 1908[13†][16†]. A growing number of editions has flourished, especially in places where the copyright to her work has expired[13†][16†].

Montgomery’s vivid descriptions of life, nature, community, and people on Prince Edward Island have immortalized this tiny province[13†][5†]. Her most famous creation, Anne of Green Gables, and her descriptions of Prince Edward Island’s natural beauty bring thousands of visitors from around the world each year[13†][17†].

In recognition of her contributions, Montgomery was named an Officer of both the Order of the British Empire and the Literary and Artistic Institute of France[13†][12†]. She was the first Canadian woman to be made a member of the British Royal Society of Arts and she was declared a Person of National Historic Significance in Canada[13†][12†].

Her body of work, which includes 21 novels, two poetry collections, and numerous journal and essay anthologies, has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide[13†][12†]. “Anne of Green Gables” alone has been translated into at least 36 languages as well as braille, and it has been adapted dozens of times in various mediums[13†][12†].

In death, Montgomery returned to her beloved Prince Edward Island, where she was buried in the Cavendish cemetery, close to the site of her old home[13†][5†]. Her life and work continue to inspire and captivate readers, researchers, and fans interested in her life, work, and legacy[13†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Lucy Maud Montgomery [website] - link
  2. The Famous People - Lucy Maud Montgomery Biography [website] - link
  3. Victorian Era - Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) Biography [website] - link
  4. Britannica Kids - Lucy Maud Montgomery [website] - link
  5. L. M. Montgomery Institute - About L. M. Montgomery [website] - link
  6. Goodreads - Author: Books by L.M. Montgomery [website] - link
  7. Google Books - Delphi Complete Works of L. M. Montgomery (Illustrated) - Lucy Maud Montgomery [website] - link
  8. Goodreads - Book: The Works of L.M. Montgomery [website] - link
  9. Project MUSE - Johns Hopkins University Press - The Magic of L. M. Montgomery: Her Life and Works [website] - link
  10. SparkNotes - Anne of Green Gables: Study Guide [website] - link
  11. Britannica - Anne of Green Gables: novel by Montgomery [website] - link
  12. The Canadian Encyclopedia - Lucy Maud Montgomery [website] - link
  13. L.M. Montgomery Online - Welcome [website] - link
  14. L.M. Montgomery Online - House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery [website] - link
  15. Goodreads - Book: House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery [website] - link
  16. L.M. Montgomery Online - Editions [website] - link
  17. Canada.ca - Celebrating L.M. Montgomery’s Legacy in PEI [website] - link
  18. Britannica - Lucy Maud Montgomery: Canadian author [website] - link
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