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Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) Biography

Early Life of Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Here are some key facts.

Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in Clifton, New London, Prince Edward Island, on November 30th, 1874. Her parents were Hugh John Montgomery and Clara Woolner Macneill. She was 21 months old when she lost her mother due to tuberculosis.

Being a lonely child, living with an elderly couple, Montgomery found companionship and solace in imagination, fantasy, nature, books, and writing. From the age of six, she began to attend the school near her grandparents’ home in Cavendish and completed her early education, except a single year there, the one year she spent in Prince Albert. She began writing poetry and keeping a journal from an early age of nine.

Therein she achieved her first publication a poem named “On Cape LeForce” published by a The Patriot, a Prince Albert newspaper. She returned to Cavendish, in 1891and she completed grade ten in 1892-1893. The succeeding year (1893-1894), she studied in order to gain a teacher’s license at Prince of Wales College, prodigally completing the two-year course in a single year and graduating with honors.

Family Tree

Lucy was taken care of by her maternal grandparents, Alexander Mcneill and Lucy Woolner when her mother Clara Mcneill passed, and her father Hugh Montgomery left her with them. She had no real siblings, however, due to her father’s marriage to Marry Ann McRae, she had three step-siblings, two brothers David and Hugh along with one sister Kate.

In 1911, Lucy married Ewen Macdonald, a Presbyterian Minister, to whom she was engaged since 1906. The couple sired three children, of whom, the second Hugh, was stillborn. However, the oldest Chester and the youngest Stuart were healthy.


The Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home

Her house in Cavendish is an important site and is called as L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site, situated in Prince Edward Island, Canada. It is considered important as she lived there for 37 years while staying with her grandparents and wrote her famous books.

In the “Anne of Green Gables”, Lucy incorporated the site thus imparting her book with a realistic setting. The house was damaged in a fire in the year 1997, thus leading to a rigorous restoration campaign to restore it to its former glory.

The entire site includes multiple other attractions other than the Cavendish Home. The Green Gables House, and Lover’s Lane, among other attractions that gained fame due to their inclusion in the book.

The acclaim gained by the book caused remarkable tourist attraction to the site, thus giving rise to the ‘Prince Edward National park’ in the decade of 1930.

Famous Works of Lucy Maud Montgomery

During her stay in Cavendish, she continued to write multiple poems and stories for many Canadian, British, and American magazines. She was rejected multiple times, despite that, she eventually gained a sufficient income from her writing.

She wrote her first and most famous novel, Anne of Green Gables, in 1905. She sent the manuscript to several publishers, but, was rejected from all of them, thus, she put it away. In 1907, decided to give it another try.

The novel was accepted by the Page Company of Boston, Massachusetts and was subsequently published in 1908. The novel became an instant hit, immediately becoming the best-seller, and marked the beginning of Montgomery’s amazing career as a novelist and a writer

She was an extremely sensitive and brilliant woman who suffered tremendously from events that affected her personally and the world. Which she incorporated in her writing style, and the pain and suffering of which was often expressed in her writings.

She expressed pain at the death of her infant son Hugh, the atrocities during the First World War, her cousin Frede Campbell’s demise, and then discovering that her husband ailed from religious melancholia. However, regardless of these, she continued to write and expressed her love of life, nature, and beauty in her fiction, journals, and letters.

Many of her stories and plays were converted to movies, such as Anne of Green Gables, Lantern Hill, Anne of Avonlea etc.

Her first publication, however, was a poem titled “On Cape Le Force,” which was printed in the Charlottetown Patriot on 26 November 1890. She was living in Prince Albert at the time. She used pseudonyms, like Maud Cavendish and Joyce Cavendish, in order to conceal her professional ambitions. She finally settled on L.M. Montgomery in order to conceal her gender.

She also wrote Blue Castle in 1926, which is a story that takes place before the first World War, in the fictional place of Deerwood, in Canada.

 Emily of New Moon is her first in a series of novels. It was about an orphan growing up in Prince Edward Island. The story was identical to Anne of Green Gables

She also inspired the character of an anime “Bangou Stray Dogs”, named Lucy Maud Montogomery, derived from her own name.

She passed in 1942, suspected, due to coronary thrombosis.

Her other famous works include: Anne of Avonlea, Kilmeny of the Orchard, The Story Girl, The Golden Road, The Blythes are Quoted among others.

Famous Quotes by Lucy Maud Montgomery

She was considered witty and intelligent and her quotes are often remembered, some of them are:

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” from Anne of Green Gables

“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”
“I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” From Anne of Avonlea

“You may tire of reality but you never tire of dreams.” From the Road to Yesterday

“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people KNOW more… though I know that IS the noblest ambition… but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me… to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.” From Anne’s House of Dreams.