Fellow of the British Royal Society of Arts


Lucy Maud Montgomery, born November 30, 1874, in Clinton, on the north shore of Prince Edward Island, Canada, grew up after her mother's death with her relatives in Cavendish. She started writing poetry in 1883 and published first in 1894 after training as a teacher at the Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown. After one year at Dalhousie University in 1895, she taught in Belmont and Lower Bedeque, P.E.I., during which period she published much short fiction and poems. Returning to Cavendish to care for her grandmother, Montogomery developed the Avonlea stories. She wrote Anne of Green Gables and published it in Boston in 1908, to worldwide success. She married a Presbyterian minister, Ewan Macdonald, in 1911, and they moved to Leaskdale, Ontario, just north of Toronto. She continued the Avonlea series with Anne of Avonlea (1909), Chronicles of Avonlea (1912), and Anne of the Island (1915). Her only book of poetry, The Watchman and Other Poems, came out in 1916. Over her lifetime, Montgomery published 516 poems. Her late bibliographer, Rea Wilmshurst, collected 454 of them. A recent edition edited by John Ferns and Kevin McCabe, The Poetry of Lucy Maud Montgomery (Markham: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1987; PS 8525 O68A6), published 86 of them. See Lucy Maud Montgomery: A Preliminary Bibliography by Ruth Weber Russell, D. W. Russell, and Rea Wilmshurst (Waterloo: University of Waterloo Library, 1986; Z 8591 .2 R88 Robarts Library). Over a long career in writing, Montgomery was honoured by being made Fellow of the British Royal Society of Arts in 1923, and a Companion of the Order of the British Empire, and a member of the Literary and Artistic Institute of France, in 1935. That year she and her family moved to the Toronto suburb of Humberside. The Canadian government the next year made part of Cavendish a national park. Montgomery died April 24, 1942, and was buried in Cavendish cemetery. Her husband died a year later. They left behind two sons, Chester and Stuart. For more about her life, see Genevieve Wiggins, L. M. Montgomery (New York: Twayne, 1995; PS 8525 O68Z87); and Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston, Writing a Life: L. M. Montgomery (Toronto: ECW Press, 1995; PS 8525 O68Z85), and their The Selected Journals of L. M. Montgomery (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1985-; PS 8525 O68Z473 Robarts Library).