Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Lucy Maude Montgomery—or Maud (without the e), as she affectionately liked to be called—is best known for her eight “Anne” books, beginning with Anne of Green Gables and ending with Anne of Ingleside. The series stars the orphan Anne, who finds a home by getting adopted by a brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who farm on Prince Edward Island. Montgomery wrote similar stories with female protagonists, such as Emily in Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, and Emily’s Quest; Pat in Pat of Silverbush and Mistress Pat; and Jane in Jane of Lantern Hill, but the Anne series became the most famous and Prince Edward Island the setting for all but one of her twenty-one novels.
It can be argued that Montgomery’s characters were autobiographical. Montgomery was a writer at heart, keeping a journal as a child, and imagining all sorts of characters. She wrote her first poem at nine, sent many off for publication at twelve, and published her first poem in the local paper at fifteen. The story of Anne began as a note in one of her daybooks. Maud sometimes thought of herself as an orphan, and she read books such as Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess (1905) and Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield (1849-1850).
Maud was the only child of Hugh John Montgomery and Clara Woolner Macneill, of upper English and Scottish society. Her mother died of tuberculosis when Maud was only twenty-one...
(The entire section is 622 words.)
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Biography (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
Although descended from prominent Canadian families, Lucy Maud Montgomery considered herself an orphan and outsider. Shortly after Lucy’s birth, her mother, Clara, developed tuberculosis, and the Montgomerys moved to the Macneill farm near Cavendish (the model for Avonlea) to live with Clara’s parents, Lucy and Alexander Macneill. When Montgomery was about two, Clara died; her wake remained Montgomery’s most vivid early memory.
For years, Montgomery’s father, Hugh, traveled on business, leaving Montgomery to be raised primarily by the Macneills. Supposedly, her paternal grandfather, Donald Montgomery, was a talented storyteller, but the Macneills were strict disciplinarians. Montgomery was unhappy, except during visits to a cousin’s farm (the model for Green Gables). She attended the local school (the model for Avonlea School), where she competed for top honors with Nate Lockhart (a possible model for her character Gilbert Blythe).
After Hugh settled in Saskatchewan and remarried, Montgomery, now fifteen, went to live with his new family. Although her comments about her father were always positive, emphasizing his loving treatment of her, she seemed to feel that her stepmother treated her as a servant, making her miss school to babysit her young siblings. She also was homesick for Prince Edward Island, so after a year she returned to live with the Macneills.
A positive result of Montgomery’s homesickness was her poem “On Cape LeForce,” published in...
(The entire section is 656 words.)