L M Montgomery (1874 – 1942)
Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in Clifton (now New London) in Prince Edward Island, Canada on November 30, 1874.
After her mother died from tuberculosis was Lucy was 21 months she was raised by her maternal grandparents. She had a lonely childhood, but by the age of 13 she had dreams of future fame and she began submitting her work for publication, starting with poetry and newspaper articles. She received her teaching degree and began teaching on Prince Edward Island, feeling connected and inspired by the natural world there. Her teaching afforded her time to write, and she was very prolific, publishing more than 100 stories between 1897 and 1907.
In 1908 she published her first book, Anne Of Green Gables, which was immediately successful.
Montgomery had many suitors that she turned down for various reasons, and although she was financially independent she married in 1911, after her grandmother's death. Her marriage to a minister was not a happy one, Montgomery quipping that those women whom God wanted to destroy He would make into the wives of ministers. The couple had three children, although her second son was stillborn. She battled depression, made worse by the tragedies of World War I and her husband's attacks of religious melancholia.
A dispute with her original publisher, L.C. Page & Company, over royalties owed to her lasted over ten years, from 1917 to 1928, and ended with Montgomery receiving a check for $15,000, although the publisher, Louis Coues Page, tried to sue her in return for the (unrelated) death of his brother.
In her lifetime Montgomery published over 20 novels, as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems and 30 essays. In 1921 she began the Emily Series, which was similar to Anne of Green Gables as it involves the story of a young girl orphan growing up in Canada.
In the last year of her life Montgomery finished her 9th book featured Anne of Green Gables, titled The Blythes Are Quoted, and it was delivered to her publisher on the day of her death, but perhaps due to the dark tone and anti-war sentiment (during WWII( it was not published for 30 years when it was edited and released as The Road To Yesterday (1974).
Lucy Maud Montgomery died April 24, 1942, at the age of 67. The primary cause of death was noted on her death certificate as coronary thrombosis, although there has been later speculation that she died of a drug overdose in response to her overwhelming depression she had battled her entire life further exacerbated by WWII.
Montgomery is one of the most successful Canadian authors of all time.