Lucy Maud Montgomery is the author of the very popular Anne of Green Gables. Just like most of her literary characters, she lived on Prince Edward Island. She preferred to be called by her middle name Maud. Unlike Anne and her “e”, Maud had to have her name with out the “e”.
She was born November 30, 1874, in New London (Cliffton) Prince Edward Island. Maud was named Lucy after her grandmother; but went by Maud. Her mother, Clara Macneil, died two years later, in 1876 of tuberculosis. Not long after that, her father moved to Saskatchewan.
As a child, she lived with her grandparents, Lucy and Alexander Macneil, in Cavendish, PEI. Life with her grandparents was sometimes difficult as they were very strict. Maud’s grandfather ran the post office from their home. That’s how she sent out her manuscripts, with out all those “Rachel Lyndes” finding out. As a child, she enjoyed writing and founded a story club, just like Anne Shirley’s. Maud later recalls, “I can not remember a time when I was not writing or I did not mean to be a author.”
When her father moved to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, he re-married. Soon Maud went out west to live with him. She found new friends, Laura and her brother Will Pritchard. The highlight of her stay, was when she saw her first published poem. It was entitled, “On Cape Leforce” and published in The Daily Patriot. However, she and her stepmother didn’t get along very well. Her stepmother expected Maud to stay home from school and look after the children. In 1891, she once again returned to her beloved Prince Edward Island.
Maud attended Prince of Whales college in Charlottetown during 1893, and got a teacher’s license. In 1895, she attended Dalhousie University in Halifax. She could only afford one year, so she took a teaching job. Soon Edwin Simpson became her beau. However, while teaching in Lower Bedeque, she fell in love with Herman Leard, a poor farmer. Maud once described being in the house with both Edwin and Herman, as one she must marry but could never love; and the other she loved but could never marry. Herman later died in 1899.
After the death of her grandfather in 1898, Maud returned home to take care of her ailing grandmother. Maude wrote what she called, “pot boilers”. Those were stories she wrote because she had to, for money to keep food in the pots on her stove. Between 1901 and 1902, she wrote for a newspaper called The Daily Echo in Halifax. Her column was entitled Around The Table.
In 1905, Maud began writing Anne of Green Gables. After several publishers rejected the manuscript; she buried it in a hat box. The next year, in 1906 she secretly became engaged to Edwin Simpson. Later, in 1908 it was finally published by L. C. Page & Company.
After Maud’s grandmother died, she married Edwin Simpson on July 5, 1911. They took their honeymoon in England and Scotland. Then they settled in Leaksdale, Ontario. Maud had two sons, Chester and Stuart. Maud had a lawsuit with her publishing company, after they published a book with out her knowledge. The lawsuit lasted for several years. Then Ewen began having headaches and depression; but Maud covered up for him so well, nobody knew about it.
In 1926, Maud lived in the Norval manse. Finally in 1928, she won her lawsuit with the publishing company. Meanwhile, her husband’s condition worsened, and he spent days in bed. By now, Maude had become good at covering up his illness. While living in Norval, she published Pat of Silverbush and The Blue Castle.
The family moved to Toronto in 1935. Maud called her new house Journey’s End; because she never planned to move again. Ewen’s condition grew even worse. Maude continued to look after him and write.
On April 24, 1942, Maud died. She was buried in Cavendish on her beloved Prince Edward Island. With her passing, Canada lost one of it’s greatest writers ever. However, her memory lives on, and her books are as popular as ever.
- The Lucy Maud Montgomery Album -By: Kevin McCabe, edited by Alexandra Heilbron
- Lucy Maud Montgomery -By: Elizabeth MacLeod
- Maud The Life of L. M. Montgomery -By: Harry Bruce