Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Hidden Secrets of Green Gables
Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in 1874 in New London, Canada on the Island of Prince Edward. At the age of 21 months old, Lucy Maud Montgomery's mother died of tuberculosis. This prompted her father to hand over custody of Lucy to her maternal grandparents. For the remainder of her life she would be raised among strict and modest means. Her youth was not delightful as many would think and was rather stricken with loneliness and depression. Since she spent most of her time alone, she was often caught daydreaming and her personal journals credit this early trauma to the invention of all her characters from her highly successful novel series Anne of Green Gables.
As her grandparents became too old to care for her, she was shipped back to her father at the age of 16. This proved to be a strenuous time in her life because her and her step-mom did not get along. In a hurry to move on, she completed high school and earned a two-year college degree in just one year. Directly after, she began teaching. She supplemented her teaching certificate with an interest in literature and studied at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. In diaries, Lucy Maud Montgomery admits to not enjoying being a teacher, but appreciated the extra time it gave her to write.
Her first published works began appearing in 1897. Most of them were short stories that were published in magazines or newspapers. In just ten years, she managed to have 100 of her short stories published in notable publications. In 1902, she was summoned to return to Prince Edward Island to take care of her elderly grandmother. Unmarried and frustrated with love, she devoted all of her time to writing. Her short stories were earning her a respectable income and she felt compelled to marry in 1908 when her grandmother passed away. That same year, she released her infamous book Anne of Green Gables.
Sadly, Lucy Maude Montgomery's personal life was in shambles. The husband she married out of convenience was considered to be crazy and she spent much of her time dealing with his distortion and taking care of him. This took a toll on Lucy Maude and friends believed that she wrote as a way to escape her own reality. She went on to write 21 novels, 9 of which were sequels to the Anne of Green Gables story. Additionally she compiled as many as 20 full-length books with short stories and vignettes, several poetry collections and a non-fiction book titled Courageous Women. She also wrote her own autobiography and published a series of journal entries from her personal diaries.
Lucy Maude's Montgomery's depiction of her beloved Prince Edward Island caused a great deal of tourists to visit her Canadian birthplace. She is best known for her eloquent fiction and beautifully written descriptions of Victorian green-gabled farmhouses that pepper her hometown. The characters in her Green Gables books prove to still interest readers today and are woven with intricate personal details from her own life and experiences.
Although Lucy Maude Montgomery was an accomplished writer, even being the first woman to be recognized by the Royal Arts Society of England, she never felt that she lived up to her true potential. Today, her death still remains a mystery. While it is recorded that she died of heart failure, many other people that knew her speculate that she committed suicide by over dosing on medications. While the truth may never be known for sure, her eloquent writing in Anne of Green Gables and subsequent books have captivated readers worldwide.