From her childhood, Lucy Maud Montgomery knew she wanted to be a writer. Born November 30th, 1874 to Hugh and Clara Montgomery, Maud was a native of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Barely two years old when her mother died, she lived most of her childhood with her mother's parents. She was not brought up with kindness. Her grandparents were verbally abusive and often spoke desparagingly of her abandonment by her father. Despite these afflictions, Maud's imagination and desire to write flourished.
Like her well known heroine, Anne, Maud posessed a creative and fanciful mind. Her leisure hours were spent writing in her journals and devouring the works of famous authors such as Dickens, Byron, and Longfellow. Her journals detailed the little happenings of her life and recorded her dreams and aspirations. She continued writing throughout her childhood, and by the age of sixteen had published a poem in the local newpaper.
After grade school, Maud became a student at Prince of Whales College in Charlottetown. In the space of one year, she earned a teaching certificate and began her short teaching career. At the same time she continued studying literature at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. For the next few years, Maud taught in several schools on Prince Edward Island. When her grandfather died in 1898, she moved back to Cavendish to live with her grandmother. Three years later she was in Halifax again, this time writing for two local newpapers, the Chronicle and Echo. In 1902 she returned to live with and support her grandmother. Maud remained there until her grandmother's death, 1911.
This is the period of Maud's life when "Anne" came into being. Based on an idea scribbled long ago, and originally intended for a newpaper serial, Anne's character and personality began to attain a life of their own, and Maud decided to save her for something deeper. Finished in 1905, "Anne of Green Gables" was rejected by several publishers. Finally, after a little revising, Maud succeeded in publishing the book in 1908. Immediately popular, the book afforded Maud with plenty of income. In the next three years, Maud finished two more books, including her favorite, "The Story Girl."
Shortly after her grandmother's death in 1911, Maud married Ewan Macdonald, with whom she had been secretly engaged for five years. The couple moved to Ontario, where Ewan was to serve as a minister to St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in Leaksdale. Maud and Ewan had three children: Chester Cameron, Hugh Alexander, and Ewan Stuart. Sadly, Hugh died at birth.
In the midst of her early married life, Maud continued writing novels and stories. She dreamed of writing something grander, but eventually came to the realization that her skill lay in creating lighter romantic stories, and so she stuck to that. Besides writing and caring for her family, Maud enjoyed many pastimes, including knitting, crocheting, and needlework. She was also interested in photography, astronomy, and—of course—the beauty of nature, which features prominently in many of her literary works.
The end of Maud's life was not happy. Burdened with the secret of her husband's depression and mental illness, saddened by the loss of her second son, and distressed by the wars in Europe, Maud's health and sanity began to give way. Additionally, she suffered a 9-year legal dispute with her publisher, who had published some of her old manuscripts without permission. In 1938 she suffered a mental and physical collapse, from which she never really recovered. Tragically, she lived in continued depression and despair until her death in 1942. She was buried in Cavendish on Prince Edward Island with her husband.
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