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L.M.M. Biography

One of the finest female authors of the 19th Century, Lucy Maud Montgomery, entered the world on November 30th, 1874. Her father was Hugh John Montgomery and her mother was Clara Woolner, who died of tuberculosis when Lucy was only two years old. They lived together in New London, Prince Edward Island.

Lucy eventually went to live with her very strict, elderly grandparents in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. Although they were quite strict with her, I'm sure she still loved them. Her father wound up moving further aay and so Lucy didn't see him as often as she'd like to.

Lucy's writing career started when she was only nine years old and wrote her first poem, entitled "Autumn." She also kept a journal which was full of her stories and poems. Although she thought diaries were childish and therefore bruned them all when she was a teen, she started keeping them again later on and that lasted about sixty years.

After a while, Lucy left her grandparents home and went to live with her father and his new wife. She didn't get along at all with her stepmother who didn't treat her very well. She made Lucy do all of the housework and even made her drop out of school to help out at home. Lucy was even forced to take care of her new step sister. She was obviously burdened with a lot more then one person (especially a child) can handle. She eventually went back to live with her grandparents.

Lucy got her first rejection at the age of twelve when he sent in a poem to be published. The poem was called, "Evening Dreams," and the rejection crushed her. She wasn't able to get up the courage to try again for a few years. Things began to look up for her when she was sixteen and a local newspaper agreed to publish her poem, "On Cape Leforce". Months later she got an essay publish and that was followed up by some more of her works being published.

Lucy attended Prince Wales College in 1892 and received her teachng certificate in just one year instead of two. She became a teacher at Bideford, Prince Edward Island and then at a University. I don't think it's a coincidence that her famous "Anne Shirley" did pretty much the exact same thing.

She eventually began teaching at Belmont, Prince Edward Island and then moved on to a teaching position at Bedque, Prince Edward Island. Her grandfather died in 1898 while she was in Bedque and she came back home to Cavendish to take care of her grandmother.

And what about her relationships with men? Well, Lucy did have her fair share of suitors. In Belmont she became engaged to Edwin Simpson who she absolutely hated and eventually broke up with. She was head over heels in love with Herman Leard, but she could never marry him just because he was a farmer. He later passed on. While living with her grandmother, Lucy would meet her future husband, which I'll talk about in a few moments.

In 1905, while living with her grandmother, who was still very strict, Lucy began writing "Anne of Green Gables." It took her two years to get someone to publish it, but then L.C Page Company came along and they had enough sense to accept it. It would become a very popular piece of work and in 1909 Lucy wrote the sequel, "Anne of Avonlea".

Two years earlier, before the sequel came along, Lucy got engaged to Ewan Macdonald, but they kept their engagement a secret and decided not to marry until Licy's grandmother passed on. Lucy didn't want to leave her to fend for herself at such an old age. On March 19, 1911, Lucy's grandmother died and her and Ewan were finally able to marry.

Ewan was also the minister of a Presbyterian Church and soon after they married, two sons were born, The first, Chester, was born in 1912 and then in 1915 his brother Stewart was born. They all lived in Leskdale, Ontario.

Before she had gotten married, Lucy had published Kilmeny of the Orchard" and "The Story Girl." She also wrote four more Anne books, but got tired of that and went on to write the "Emily" series after 1920.

Ewan wasn't too thrilled or supportive of Lucy's writing career, but he never prevented her from writing. She also didn't make very many friends, and the one best friend that she did have, her cousin, Frede Campbell eventually died in 1919 of the flu. Lucy began writing "Rilla of Ingleside" around the same time which was Lucy's views of WWII on women.

The first 'adult" book Lucy wrote was "The Blue Castle" in 1926 and ten years later, in 1936, she found herself back writing her famous "Anne" books. By that time, Ewan had retired from the church. Meanwhile, her eldest son Chester, got married, had two kinds, and then divorced while her youngest son, Stewart, also fell in love with a young lady in Norval, Ontario.

The last book Lucy wrote was "Anne of Ingleside" in 1939. She tried to write more after that, but couldn't seem to finish anything else, probably because of her health problems. She suffered from a mental breakdown in 1940 and her health continued to decline after that. On April 24, 1942 Lucy Maud Montgomery passed on, leaving us a legacy of fine literature. Her husband, Ewan, died a year after her.

Although Lucy has been gone for over fifty years, she left behind some of the most wonderful works of both poetry and stories this world has ever known. If you have never read anything by Lucy Maud Montgomery, then I urged you to do so. You won't regret it.....I promise you that.

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