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- Montgomery, L. M. (Lucy Maud)
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Lucy Maud Montgomery was born 30 November 1874 in Clifton (now New London), Prince Edward Island to Hugh John Montgomery and Clara Woolner Macneill. Clara died when Lucy Maud was twenty-one months old. Hugh moved out west where he remarried, while Lucy Maud remained on Prince Edward Island and was raised by her grandparents, Alexander Macneill and Lucy Woolner, who ran the local post office.
Lucy Maud took a great interest in reading and writing at an early age. She attended school in Cavendish until she was sixteen and in 1890 she travelled to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to see her father and step family. Lucy Maud returned to PEI in the summer of 1891 and attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown to get her First Class Teaching License. She also spent a winter at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia studying English and languages.
Lucy Maud taught school at Bideford and Lower Bedeque until 1898 when she returned to Cavendish following her grandfather's death to care for her grandmother and help run the post office. Lucy Maud remained in Cavendish until her grandmother's death in 1911, with the exception of the year 1901-1902 when she worked as a proofreader and writer for the Halifax Daily Echo. While she was living in Cavendish Lucy Maud wrote her best-known work "Anne of Green Gables." The novel was rejected by several publishers before it was finally accepted in 1908.
Following the death of her grandmother, Lucy Maud married Reverend Ewan Macdonald at her uncle's home at Park Corner in 1911. The couple moved to Leaskdale, Ontario where they had two sons, Chester born 1912 and Stuart born 1915.
Lucy Maud's life in Ontario was often busy. As the minister's wife, she had numerous duties within her Ontario community and she was also burdened by her husband's frequent bouts of depression. Throughout most of the 1920s Lucy Maud was also involved in a legal battle with her publisher, L. C. Page Co. which had published "Further Chronicles of Avonlea", a collection of short stories, without her permission. The case was taken through the courts of two states and up to the Supreme Court over the course of nine years before it was ruled in her favour.
In 1926 the Macdonald family moved to Norval, Ontario where Ewan preached until his retirement in 1935. Lucy Maud and Ewan then moved to Toronto.
Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote avidly throughout her adult life despite her many responsiblilites. By the time of her death she had written some five hundred short stories and poems and twenty novels, nineteen of which were set on Prince Edward Island. In 1923 she was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in England, the first Canadian woman to receive the honour. In 1935 she was invested with the Order of the British Empire.
In the late 1930s Lucy Maud suffered a nervous breakdown and her health began to deteriorate. On 24 April 1942 Lucy Maud died in Toronto. She is buried in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.
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