Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Canada
November 30, 1874–April 24, 1942
Anne of Green Gables
Lucy Maud Montgomery's impetuous, red-headed orphan, Anne Shirley, was not the boy expected by the Prince Edward Island couple who adopted her. Nevertheless, the fictional heroine worked her way into their hearts and into the hearts of several generations of young adult and adult readers.
Montgomery, whose mother died when she was two years old, was raised by her strict, Presbyterian maternal grandparents. Kept away from other children, she wrote detailed journals of her thoughts. Her isolation, she wrote in a journal, “drove me in on myself and early forced me to construct for myself a world of fancy and imagination very different indeed from the world in which I lived.”
In 1887, her father remarried and settled in Saskatchewan. Montgomery joined him but could not get along with her stepmother. At fifteen, she was kept home from school to help care for her stepbrother and stepsister. In 1891, she returned east to live with her grandparents. Three years later, she earned her teaching certificate and taught until 1898. When her grandfather died, she returned to live with and care for her grandmother. For a time, she worked for a newspaper in Nova Scotia. She also began writing; her novel Anne of Green Gables was published in 1908.
In 1911, Montgomery married the Reverend Ewan Macdonald after a secret, five-year engagement. They moved to Ontario, where she gave birth to three sons. Though her life was difficult—one of their sons was stillborn, her husband suffered a mental breakdown, and she sued her first publisher, L. C. Page, over royalties in 1919—she