Lucy Maud Montgomery
I’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’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.”
Over 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.
One 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!