Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874 – 1942) is best known for Anne of Green Gables, first published in 1908, but her literary career was firmly established before this endearing novel brought her international acclaim. Her letters to her friends Penzie Macneill and Ephraim Weber add a rich dimension to her character, while her short stories, serials, and poems illustrate the gradual unfolding of a remarkable talent.
Her family and island life contributed immensely to this literary development. The Montgomerys, who were at the heart of the island’s social and political life, provided the subject matter, while her talent for writing came from her mother’s family, the Macneills, who produced writers, poets, and satirists. And growing up surrounded by the pastoral beauty of the countryside and the sparkling waters of the sea, she wrote, “Were it not for those Cavendish years, I do not think Anne of Green Gables would ever have been written.”
Francis W. P. Bolger, who teaches history at the University of Prince Edward Island, has compiled an informative and complete picture of the fascinating life and brilliant career of Lucy Maud Montgomery, drawing on her scrapbooks, letters, diaries, photos and conversations with family members.