About Lucy Maud Montgomery. n.d. 30 November 2019 <https://www.lmmontgomery.ca/about/lmm/her-life>.
Bradley, Brian. Author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Troubled Years in Toronto. 1 March 2018. 30 November 2019 <https://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/once-upon-a-city-archives/2018/03/01/author-lucy-maud-montgomerys-troubled-years-in-toronto.html>.
I used this source the most for researching Montgomery’s death and mental health issues for my intro blog post. I found this article quite informative, as it specifically addressed what might’ve been factors that fed her anxiety and depression. The article gathered evidence from Montgomery’s journal pages to convey exactly what the author was feeling at the time, and has been published fairly recently. This article was extremely helpful to understand the more taboo side of Montgomery’s life.
Brown, Daniel. L.M. Montgomery’s original manuscript reveals P.E.I. author’s creative process. 8 August 2019. 30 November 2019 <https://www.trurodaily.com/lifestyles/lm-montgomerys-original-manuscript-reveals-pei-authors-creative-process-339782/>.
This source was instrumental in terms of revealing Montgomery’s abstract thought process. The inferences that the author of the article made came directly from the original manuscript of Anne of Green Gables, so the evidence was close to coming form Montgomery herself. Since Anne of Green Gables was rejected five different times, Montgomery would’ve had to considerably change the original manuscript. From this article, I was able to see her original ideas and what specifically might’ve caused the book to be initially rejected. However, this resource was written in the form of a news article, so there is a chance that the article was slightly dramatized to become a news-worthy piece.
CBC News. L. M. Montgomery Suicide Revealed. 22 September 2008. 30 November 2019 <https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/l-m-montgomery-suicide-revealed-1.723426>.
Devereux, Cecily and Andrew McIntosh. Lucy Maud Montgomery . 15 May 2018. 28 November 2019 <https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/montgomery-lucy-maud>.
I used this article mainly just to check my other sources of information and get a general idea of Montgomery’s life. Because this page came from a well known Canadian resource, I found the information to be trustworthy and informative while managing to be succinct. It was also helpful that the article identified debated topics and looked at all sides from a neutral point of view.
Engelhart, Katie. A Tale Told by Facts Alone. 8 October 2009. 30 November 2019 <https://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/a-tale-told-by-facts-alone/>.
Heritage Minutes: Lucy Maud Montgomery . Dir. Stephen Dunn. Perf. Meghan Greeley and Nadia Tonen. 2018.
This was the video that I used as an introduction of sorts for my blog post. The entire script quotes Montgomery’s journal pages, so it really gives a feel of Montgomery’s personal life while she was alive. The video also allowed me to have a distinct view of Montgomery’s voice, which I used as somewhat of a reference point for my speech.
Lanzendorfer, Joy. 14 Facts About Anne of Green Gables Author L.M. Montgomery. 28 November 2014. 30 November 2019 <https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/60282/14-facts-about-anne-green-gables-author-lm-montgomery>.
Lucy Maud Montgomery. Unknown. 28 November 2019 <https://www.dal.ca/about-dal/dalhousie-originals/lucy-maud-montgomery.html>.
Rubio, Mary Henley. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. 2018. 28 November 2019 <http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/montgomery_lucy_maud_17E.html>.
This biography was my primary source of research throughout the entire project. I mainly used it as information for Montgomery’s childhood (the focus point of my speech), but it was generally the most informative resource I had. The biography was written by Mary Henley Rubio, who is a trustworthy professor that has completed thorough research on Montgomery’s life. Once I read it, I had a clear and comprehensive understanding of Montgomery’s struggles and accomplishments.
From the day she knew how to hold a pencil, Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote. Journals, news articles, speeches, novels… there was hardly a day in Montgomery’s life that she wasn’t writing. Perhaps the most famous of all, Montgomery breathed life into the fictional Canadian icon Anne Shirley, a free-spirited girl whose life was full of imagination and mischief. Montgomery was, and is, a Canadian icon who rose to fame during a time that female authors were disregarded as worthy contributions to literature.
Born on November 30, 1874 in Clifton, Prince Edward Island to Hugh John Montgomery and Clara Woolner Macneill, Montgomery was a privileged little girl. Both the Montgomerys and the Macneills were powerful Scottish families who held the majority of the real estate in PEI. The Montogmerys and the Macneills had comfortable ties to powerful Scottish Clans, were financially secure, prominent in PEI’s politics, and even had a few distinguished authors in their ancestry prior to Montgomery.
Despite this, Montgomery’s childhood was not an easy one. Montgomery’s mother passed away from tuberculosis when she was only 21 months old. Not long after, Montgomery’s father left her to be raised by her maternal grandparents Alexander Marquis and Lucy Ann Macneill in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. Her grandparents, old-fashioned as they were, were cold and unloving towards Montgomery as they raised her.
Montgomery was an intuitive, highly sensitive child with elaborate mood swings which, much to her grandparents’ dismay, earned her quite a reputation amongst her town. Despite her harsh upbringing, Montgomery’s childhood was a happy one, having many friends and cousins to play with. Never one to spend too much time indoors, Montgomery spent hours on end playing outside in PEI’s many fields and beaches. This kindled a love for nature, causing Montgomery to feature it in the majority of her stories later in life. While she enjoyed playing with the other children, Montgomery also enjoyed her alone time and would spend much of her youth reading and writing. Her most famous influences were Louisa May Alcott (author of Little Women) and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (author of Alice in Wonderland). Both of whom greatly inspired her work later on, most notably Anne of Green Gables.
Reaching adulthood, Montgomery was struck with the sudden realization that it would be difficult for a woman to ever make it as an author, so she decided to become a teacher, which was quite popular for women at the time. She spent two years studying to teach young children at Charlottetown’s Prince of Wales college, and obtained a teaching license. In July of 1894, Montgomery began teaching and found she loved working with children. In her free time, she continued to write and publish stories and articles for her town’s local newspaper.
Instead of continuing down the lane that most young women her age took (teaching until they found a worthy spouse), Montgomery chose to save up her money (with the help and encouragement from her grandmother) and attend Dalhousie College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was there that she met Archibald McKellar MacMechan, who saw Montgomery’s capabilities and fed her passion for literature. After a year, Montgomery could no longer afford college and was forced to drop out. This made her feel quite disappointed and frustrated, especially since one of her male cousins was given the money and encouragement to continue on while she wasn’t given any further praise or funding.
Montgomery returned to the world of teaching which offered little pay, and was promptly engaged to her cousin Edwin Simpson. Montgomery despised Simpson, and felt little affection from him. Longing for a loving husband and children of her own, Montgomery fell into loneliness and depression. After Montgomery’s engagement was cancelled and she had an unsuccessful affair with George Herman Leared, Montgomery returned to Cavendish where she earned praise and respect by caring for her recently-widowed grandmother. Montgomery soon found the time to write again in Cavendish, and running the town’s post office helped Montgomery listen to the town’s gossip and find inspiration for stories. Montgomery finished writing her debut novel Anne of Green Gables in 1901. Her novel had five rejections, many of which almost prompted to give up on her dreams. Determined to succeed, Montgomery continued trying until its eventual success. For nine months, Montgomery worked for Halifax’s Daily Echo, writing many intriguing stories and articles that captivated anyone who read them. In 1902, however, Montgomery returned to Cavendish to fight a legal battle for her grandmother after her uncle tried to force her out of the house due to old age.
In 1903, Montgomery developed an interest for Reverend Ewen Macdonald, the local Presbyterian minister. Macdonald’s feelings turned out to be mutual, and the two were secretly engaged in 1906. One year later, Montgomery finally published Anne of Green Gables. In 1911, Montgomery and Macdonald were finally married, and spent their honeymoon in Scotland and England where Montgomery found more inspiration for her writing.
Shortly after, Montgomery moved to Ontario where she continued to suffer from various mental health problems including insomnia, depression, and anxiety. After suffering multiple losses and stress due to both World Wars as well as a loss in her novels’ popularity, Montgomery passed away on April 24, 1942. The exact cause of Montgomery’s death is unknown, but it was mainly written off as illness due to her mental health and weight loss.
Lucy Maud Montgomery was an incredible author, feminist, and journalist. Her works have, had, and continue to be read by audiences of all ages through their unique characters and choice of setting. Montgomery overcame discouragement and criticism to become the influential woman she is today. The majority of her works featured trouble-making, free-spirited young girls who weren’t afraid to speak their mind, which was vastly uncommon for her time and inspired other famous characters, including the lovable Pippi Longstocking.
I have enjoyed reading Montgomery’s work, and having visited Prince Edward Island over the past summer, I spent a lot of time exploring the Anne of Green Gables house and became quite interested in the life of Montgomery and what obstacles she overcame to become a published author. Personally, Montgomery inspires me to never give up on my passions and continue chasing my goals even when it’s difficult to find hope.
Next, I will research Montgomery’s influences and pick one person or thing to focus on. I will also look back to my vacation photos from summer 2019 to see if I can use any of them for my Learning Station during Night of the Notables.
Green Gables Heritage Place in Prince Edward Island