Anne of Green Gables started as a short serial for a girl's magazine. However, Maud fell in love
with the character and thought that the story could be extended to book length. She sent the
manuscript to five publishers, all of whom had no interest in it. She became very discouraged and
put it away, only to come across it some months later. She made some changes to it and sent it
away again. It was accepted and the publisher suggested she start on a sequel immediately. It
was published in June of 1908.
Maud had no idea that the book would become as successful as it did. She thought the book
would appeal to young girls, and was excited and surprised when she began to
receive letters from people of all ages, including many other successful writers. Altogether, Maud wrote eight
books about Anne, the last one written in 1939.
Maud's grandmother passed away in 1911, so Maud and Ewan were finally able to get married,
and did so later on in that year. They took a three month honeymoon abroad before moving to the
small community of Leaskdale, Ontario, where Reverend Macdonald was to become the new
pastor. Maud liked Leaskdale and found it charming, but admitted she did not
"love" it. It was
not Prince Edward Island or her beloved Cavendish.
Maud took her role as a minister's wife very seriously. She was very busy trying to provide the
leadership in the community that she felt she should as the pastor's wife. Her
responsibilities soon increased with the birth of her two sons, Chester in 1912 and Stuart in 1915 (there was a stillborn
child in 1914). In spite of her busy life, she managed to set aside time in her day to
write. In 1912 and 1913 she published books of short stories and a book of poetry. She also
continued to read when she could find the time, and loved to discuss the books she was reading
with her friends and pen pals.
Although the Macdonalds seemed to be happy and were fitting in very well in
Leaskdale, there was a secret that plagued the household. Ewan became ill with depression, which became a great
burden for Maud. She kept up a cheerful front, but found it hard to cope with how miserable her
husband was feeling. She, too, was feeling weary from her church duties and somewhat bored with
her life. As long as she lived, she needed the Island to renew her spirit and make her feel like
The last years of the 1930's were not good for Maud. In the winter of 1937/38, following an
attack of influenza, Maud suffered a nervous breakdown. She felt much better by the spring of
1939, but continued to feel burdened by her responsibilities. On April 24, 1942 Maud passed
away. She was buried in the little Cavendish cemetery in Prince Edward Island, where she would
be joined by Ewan two years later.
In 1936, the Canadian government proposed that a national park be developed in Cavendish to
celebrate the author and all of the places precious to her, including Lover's Lane, the Lake of
Shining Waters, the Dryad's Bubble, as well as a house furnished to represent Green Gables.
This action prevented the land from being broken up and sold to separate individuals, and
preserved the area exactly as it was. Maud visited the site in 1939 and was quite pleased with the
project. Today a musical, Anne of Green Gables, draws thousands of tourists to the
Charlottetown Confederation Centre of the Arts. As well, the National Park in Cavendish
remains a popular destination for tourists and Islanders alike. L. M. Montgomery is loved across
the world, with tourists from as far away as Japan coming to Prince Edward Island to see Green
Gables house in Cavendish and the musical in Charlottetown. L. M. Montgomery lives on in the
place she loved the most - Prince Edward Island.
Information for this biography was taken from:
Gillen, Mollie. The Canadians: Lucy Maud Montgomery. Fitzhenry and
Whiteside, Don Mills, 1978.,
Bruce, Harry. Maud: The Life of L. M. Montgomery. Bantam, New