Marcia Strykowski

Lucy Maud Montgomery

anne-of-green-gablesI’ve just realized today is beloved author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s birthday. As many of you already know, she was the creator of  Anne of Green Gables and all of the Anne books that followed. The stories take place on beautiful Prince Edward Island in Canada. The first book was published in 1908 and its popularity—immediate. Against Lucy’s wishes, the publisher encouraged her to continue the series.

Lucy Maud Montgomery November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942

Lucy Maud Montgomery November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942

Lucy’s writing regimen in her own words:
“I cannot remember the time when I was not writing or when I did not mean to be an author. To write has always been my central purpose around which every effort and hope and ambition of my life has grouped itself. During one of those winters of school teaching I boarded in a very cold farmhouse. In the evenings, after a day of strenuous school work, I would be too tired to write. So I religiously arose an hour earlier in the mornings for that purpose.
For five months I got up at 6 o’clock and dressed by lamplight. The fires would not yet be on, of course, and the house would be very cold. But I would put on a heavy coat, sit on my feet to keep them from freezing and with fingers so cramped that I could scarcely hold the pen, I would write my ‘stunt’ for the day…. Then I would thaw out my hands, eat breakfast and go to school.
When people say to me, as they occasionally do, ‘Oh, how I envy you your gift, how I wish I could write as you do,’ I am inclined to wonder, with some inward amusement, how much they would have envied me on those dark, cold, winter mornings of my apprenticeship.”

786px-Anne_of_Green_Gables_1919-sceneAnne_of_Green_Gables_(1919)_-_3

443px-Sheet_music_cover_-_ANNE_OF_GREEN_GABLES_(1919)Mary_Miles_Minter_Paul_Kelly_1919Over the years, there have been many wonderful movie, sheet music (at left), and theater versions beginning with the above silent film from 1919, starring Mary Miles Minter.

7CARRIAGOne of my favorite interpretations is the 1979 Nippon Animation series. There are 50 episodes with subtitles. The first ones were directed by the amazing Hayao Miyazaki before he moved on to his own feature films. The scenery and music are as breathtaking as the original emotional story.

Here are Lucy’s thoughts after Anne of Green Gables was rejected from five publishers two years previous:

“The manuscript (of Anne) lay in the hatbox until I came across it one winter day while rummaging. I began turning over the leaves, reading a bit here or there. It didn’t seem so very bad. ‘I’ll try once more,’ I thought.”

Thank goodness she revisited that hat box!

48 Comments

  1. I love Anne of Green Gables 🙂

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    • Me, too! I find it fascinating how this book is loved around the world by so many people—male, female, young and old.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d never heard the story of Anne’s publication before. Interesting! It’s one of my favorite stories, and I’ve enjoyed sharing it with my own little redheads. I didn’t realize it was L.M. Montgomery’s birthday until I saw Google’s homepage, which is really lovely.

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    • I saw that Google Doodle, too—very cute. Great that you’re sharing Anne with future generations!

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  3. A favourite book of mine. We have 5 generations of Anne Shirley fans in our family. I´m so glad she tried once more to have it published.

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  4. I’m glad Lucy kept going with the Anne series. Rilla of Ingleside is one of my favorites!

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  5. slochman

    Lovely post! Loved the series. Read them as an adult. Thanks for the reminder of the wonderful and timeless literature still available! Great idea for gift giving – children and adults!

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    • Thanks, Sharon. Timeless is a great way to describe all the many wonderful classics.

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  6. You always find the neatest author stories! And amazing to think that even after all this time, rejection hasn’t changed much. That’s comforting! 😉

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    • Even still, to have had only 5 rejections is pretty good. Makes you wonder how many other would-be-great manuscripts will never see the light of day because their authors gave up.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi there! I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading this blog post of yours! It was so amazing. I just checked out your blog because of this and I couldn’t help but press follow immediately because your blog is both amazing and beautiful! I am so happy I came across your blog. Can’t wait to read more from you, keep it up (:
    By the way this comment is towards all of your blog posts because they are all amazing!

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  8. I re-read all the Anne books a few years ago after visiting PEI. Still love her as much as when I was a child!

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    • I visited PEI years ago. Twice. And can’t believe I never stopped in at Green Gables. My camping trip companions weren’t interested at the time, but now I have a good excuse to return.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for including the opening quote! I found a peek into her writing method very fascinating.

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  10. Michele Sova

    Lovely post, Marcia. I enjoyed it, and all your posts!

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  11. Love this post, Marcia. I didn’t read Anne until I was an adult and naturally I was hooked from the first book. What fun to see these old pics, and I didn’t know there was an animated series!

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Jama! The animated series can be found online if you’re not able to find it elsewhere.

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  12. How wonderful that Anne is part of your “authors” series! Her books are truly a rite of passage. Read them growing up then again when I read them with my daughter.

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    • So great when moms, dads, and others share their favorite classics with the next generation!

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  13. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t realize what the Google doodle was today until I moused over it. A great series, and the 80s TV adaptation was a big part of my childhood 🙂

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    • I realized halfway through yesterday that there was more than one picture on the Google doodle, showing various scenes from the first book. The 80s miniseries with Megan Follows was also extremely well done.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I haven’t read Anne yet, but I know I will. Sometimes when you read about authors’ lives in that period, you wonder how you’d have fared. Would I have been writing in those dark winter mornings, too? Would I have that kind of dogged persistence?

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    • Lucy certainly was persistent, that’s for sure. I know you’ll enjoy Anne, Claudine!

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  15. Ashley

    I love Anne of Green Gables, too! My favorite is the 1980s TV one. Thanks for another great post!!

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  16. Thank you for posting this, Marcia. I now feel excited to read the book again as an adult.

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  17. Bette Norton

    I enjoyed your post on Lucy Maud Montgomery very much. What discipline and commitment she had writing at 5.00 am in the freezing cold farmhouse by candlelight before her day of work even began. I love the Anne of Green Gables books and I enjoyed the tv series in the 1980’s very much! So happy that Lucy found her old hatbox and resubmitted her manuscript. A timeless classic for generations to come! Thank you for another great post! 🙂

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    • Her hat box story proves that showing up (entering, submitting, etc.) is the only true way to reach your dreams. I’m glad she stuck with it, too!

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  18. Anonymous

    I so love Anne of Green Gables! This was a fascinating read, especially on Montgomery’s process in the dark, cold mornings!

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  19. mirkabreen

    Interesting how many writers write first thing in the morning and not at night. I’m in good company.
    I love the version of Anne Shirley acted by Megan Fellows. Worked for me.

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    • Funny, I recently heard of two different writers who write at night. One was from 8 pm to 10 pm. And I thought, wow, I’m usually exhausted by then. Morning works best for me, too, if I can get going.
      Megan Follows did a wonderful job as Anne. I just looked her up and am surprised by how many roles she’s had over the years. She’ll always be ‘Anne’ for most of us.

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  20. Great post Marcia– I think so many of us have a soft spot for her books!! and Ioved all the old vintage photos!!

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    • Thanks, Rhonda. Your response about the photos reminded me to look up that old movie. Apparently it’s gone missing over the years. 😦

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      • That’s surprising– it seems like you can find almost anything with a good google search these days! Hope you can turn it up eventually… fun post!

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  21. I love the insight into her dedication!

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    • Makes her seem no different than the rest of us, doesn’t it? Plugging away, wondering if what she wrote was good enough and worth sending out again.

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  22. I loved reading about the hat box, Marcia. Your post is fantastic…like going down an Anne of Green Gables memory lane. Thank you for sharing all of this!

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  23. Late to this post, but loved every bit of it. Yes, thank God she got up to write early and thank God, she tried once again. We should all persevere so. Thank you so much.

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    • Thanks, Vijaya. So true, persistence is halfway to getting anywhere.

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