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Author of Anne of Green Gables - L.m. Montgomery

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Words: 1800 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Jul 7, 2022

Words: 1800|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Jul 7, 2022

House of Dreams is a biography about L.M. Montgomery, the author who wrote Anne of Green Gables and many other famous books.

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Lucy Maud Montgomery (who went by “Maud”) grew up on Prince Edward Island and was born on November 30th, 1874. She was exposed to loss at an early age- her mother, Clara Macneill, died of tuberculosis when Maud was less than two years old. Her father, Hugh John Montgomery, was devastated by the loss of his wife and had trouble making money, so he left Maud to the care of her mother’s parents. She and her father had a very loving relationship, but he began to visit less often and eventually moved to Saskatchewan, where he remarried. Maud’s grandparents took good care of her, but they were never openly affectionate.

Maud loved nature and the beauty of her home, and many childhood places inspired locations in Anne of Green Gables. She loved the summer and spring but fell into a depression of sorts every winter. As she grew older, this depression would intensify. The writing was her escape from the darkness and gloom that sometimes descended on her. Maud wrote her first poem when she was nine years old. Her grandparents and caretakers did not approve of writing and called it a waste of time, but she hid her stories and continued to find ways to pursue her dreams of being an author. She started a story club with her friends. She also kept a journal in which she wrote about pretty much everything, until at fifteen she decided that she would only write about the interesting aspects of her life. She sent poems and short stories to local newspapers in the hopes that they would get published.

When Maud was fifteen years old, her father invited her to join him and the family he had built in Western Canada. She had a hopeful outlook when she took the long trip to Prince Albert and was thrilled to be with her father, but was disappointed. Her stepmother did not treat her well and resented Maud for spending time with her father. Maud had to drop out of school because her (evil) stepmother forced her to do all the household chores and she could not keep up with her schoolwork. Meanwhile, her stepmother was also pressuring Maud to marry her (former) schoolteacher, John Mustard, who Maud liked just about as much as she liked the food he shared a name with- that is to say, she found him unbearable and horribly annoying. While all this was happening, Maud continued to send her stories and poems to magazines. Finally, it was decided that come spring, she would be returning to her home on her beloved Prince Edward Island, and although she would terribly miss her father, she was more than glad to get away from her stepmother and, of course, the incorrigible Mr. Mustard.

Maud’s dream of attending college seemed further away than ever because she was one year behind in school, but she studied very hard with the encouragement of her old teacher, Miss Gordon. The next year, she returned to school to ready herself for the entrance exams to Prince of Wales College, which she hoped to attend. Not only did Maud pass the exams, but she also placed fifth. Maud’s grandmother was the one to drive her to Charlottetown, where she would attend college. To save money, Maud worked twice as hard as everyone else and finished two years' worth of school in one. She passed her final exams and earned a teaching certificate.

Finding a school to teach at was a whole other challenge. Men were valued over, and paid more, than women, and most candidates had two or three years of college in contrast to her one. Finally, she got a job in Bideford. The school was very small and many of her students were mentally and physically challenged. However, the community welcomed her warmly and made her feel at home. As she grew, Maud’s mood swings and depression became more and more pronounced, and as the only “solution” to mental illness in her time was to lock the patient up in a dungeon or tell them to get more sleep and work less, she felt as if nothing could help her.

Maud soon decided to go back to college and try a year at Dalhousie University. Her measly salary did not cover the tuition, and her grandfather refused to support her academically. It was her grandmother Lucy that chipped in enough for her to pursue her dreams.

Maud was very excited to arrive in Halifax, the city where she would go to Dalhousie. Although she did well in her classes, her initial enthusiasm quickly faded and was replaced by homesickness. Little did she know that soon enough, a major turning point in her writing career would occur.

On February 15th, 1896, she was finally paid money for her work. She earned five dollars for a poem she had written that won a writing contest in a magazine. After that, a long series of successes followed. She was glad to be finished with her year at Dalhousie University and declared it a waste of time, but it was in Halifax that her career as an author truly started.

Maud spent the summer at her grandparents’ house on Prince Edward Island before moving to Belmont, where a cousin of hers had secured her a teaching position. She did not enjoy her life in Belmont- her housing was horrible and her main concern was how to stay warm at night, the schoolhouse was in terrible condition, and the community was not particularly welcoming. That is to say, most of the community was not particularly welcoming. She had a growing relationship with the cousin that had gotten her the teaching job in the first place, Edwin Simpson. But outside of that, she had begun to despise Belmont and decided that she would most definitely not be returning the following year. Before she left, Edwin proposed to her. In the spur of the moment, she responded “yes”, but later she was horrified and realized that she could never love him or marry him. She could not bear his presence and was pretty much revolted by him. She dreaded receiving his letters and longed to get away from him, but she did not have the courage to break off her engagement. Meanwhile, she was falling passionately in love with the handsome Herman Leard. However, Herman was also engaged to another girl, and Maud had still not managed to escape her engagement with Edwin.

When Maud figured out that her grandfather had died, she moved in with her grandmother to take care of her and protect her from her uncle, who was trying to force her grandmother to give up her house. Soon after this happened, she built up the courage to send a letter to her fiance, Edwin, to break off the engagement. His response was far from pleasant, but Maud was a lot happier now that she was free. Maud stayed at her grandmother’s house for quite a while, until she received a letter from an acquaintance in Halifax offering her a position as a proofreader for a newspaper there. She accepted the position and worked in Halifax for nearly a year before she got homesick and returned to her home on Prince Edward Island, where she took care of her elderly grandmother and wrote. It was during this time period that she wrote her first draft for the book that would make her famous- Anne of Green Gables. Meanwhile, she had begun dating the new minister in her town, Ewan Macdonald, who would in the future become her husband. Soon after she accepted Ewan’s proposal, she got a letter from the publishing company L.C. Page & Company saying that they would publish her first book. The book was very successful, and she was pressured to write sequels, and she wrote many. However, her publishing company was clearly taking advantage of her and not paying her fairly or allowing her to publish through a different company. Meanwhile, her grandmother died, and she had to leave her old home for good.

Maud finally married Ewan in July 1911, but she was not as elated as she felt she should have been and soon fell into another phase of depression. When they got back from their honeymoon, they moved into a manse in Leaskdale, where Ewan had gotten a job as a minister. Maud hated the social expectations and responsibilities of being a minister’s wife, but she still managed to keep on writing, and was becoming a popular public speaker. They moved away to Norval. She gave birth to her first child, Chester, in 1912. In 1914, she had a miscarriage, but in 1915, she gave birth to a second boy, Stuart. As time progressed, Maud’s depression got worse. Many of her closest friends died. It was discovered that her husband suffered from manic-depressive insanity. She had to write his sermons for him, and keep up the ruse that he had a simple sickness rather than being mentally ill because back then, the mentally ill were considered evil. Her legal battle with her publishing company had also escalated.

Maud’s older son, Chester, proved to be very problematic, and she and her husband continued to grow farther apart. Ewan hated the fact that she was more accomplished than he was. Chester married without telling or asking his parents’ permission, and his wife was pregnant before they wed. Soon, Maud became a grandmother, but Chester was a horrible father, and the husband and his wife moved away from him. Maud had started losing her writing skills. Ewan’s mental illness was so bad that at one point he had a breakdown in the middle of a sermon. He resigned from his job as minister and they moved away from Norval to a large, comfortable house.

The government made the area where Maud’s old house on Prince Edward Island used to be into a national park for fans to visit and see the places that inspired Anne of Green Gables. Maud became even more famous and won many awards and honors. Her creative spark returned, and she wrote many more books. But her depression returned. On April 24th, she was found dead on her bed, with a bottle of pills in her hand. It is unclear whether or not she killed herself.

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L.M. Montgomery lived a life full of many ups and downs. Although she suffered from depression, she had a way of finding the hidden beauty of things. She put her heart and soul into her work and even if she did not live the most joyous life, her work has and will warm the hearts of thousands of readers, and she’ll live on forever in her books. 

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Author of Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery. (2022, July 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/author-of-anne-of-green-gables-l-m-montgomery/
“Author of Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery.” GradesFixer, 07 Jul. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/author-of-anne-of-green-gables-l-m-montgomery/
Author of Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/author-of-anne-of-green-gables-l-m-montgomery/> [Accessed 25 Feb. 2024].
Author of Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Jul 07 [cited 2024 Feb 25]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/author-of-anne-of-green-gables-l-m-montgomery/
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