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Biography: L. M. Montgomery

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“I never expect to be famous. I merely want to have a recognized place among good workers in my chosen profession.”

L. M. Montgomery’s fame as an author has endured for over one hundred years, particularly for her “Anne Of Green Gables” series. These are still so popular that many of the places referred to in the books and considered important to L. M. Montgomery have been preserved in tribute to her.


Lucy Maud Montgomery (who always published as L. M. Montgomery) was born on the 30th of November 1874, in Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Just before Montgomery turned two, her mother died of tuberculosis. Her father moved to the western provinces of Canada, and Montgomery was sent to live with her maternal grandparents in Caverndish. Her grandparents raised her strictly, and her childhood was not an easy one considering her delicate and imaginative nature. She did, however, also spend time with her paternal grandparents and a collection of aunts, uncles and cousins. She was also able to indulge her love of nature, often playing outside. She began keeping a journal at the age of nine.

In 1890, at the age of sixteen, Montgomery traveled to Saskatchewan to stay with her father and stepmother for a year. At this time, she published her first piece of writing in a local paper. She returned to her grandparents in 1891, completing her education in 1893. She then attended college in Charlottetown, where she took her teaching certificate in one year instead of two, and then went on to study literature at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. In 1986 she became engaged to her cousin, Edwin Simpson, although the engagement was broken off shortly after. There was no shortage of young men proposing to her, however.

After university, Montgomery returned to Prince Edward Island and took up various teaching positions. In 1898 she returned to Caverndish to care for her widowed grandmother. She moved to Halifax briefly in 1901 to work in journalism, but returned to her grandmother in 1902. She became engaged to Ewan Macdonald, a Presbyterian minister, in 1906. However, she was unable to leave her grandmother. It was at this time she began earnestly working at novel writing. She published her first book, Anne of Green Gables, in 1908.

Montgomery’s grandmother died in 1911, freeing her to marry her fiance. They honeymooned in England and Scotland, and then on returning to Canada moved to Ontario where he had taken a ministry. Montgomery wrote her next eleven books in Ontario, although around this time she entered into a lengthy legal battle with her publishers.

The couple had three sons, the middle one of whom died at birth. World War 1 was a great strain for Montgomery, and her husband battled on and off with severe depression. She continued to write up until the 1930s, at which time she was overwhelmed by illness, depression, and a lack of interest in her writing by the public. World War II caused her further despair, and she died in Toronto on the 24th of April 1942, having ceased writing several months before her death. Many of the places she lived and considered to be important to herself and her work have been made into museums or preserved by trusts.

Montgomery was made a Fellow of the British Royal Society of Arts in 1923. She was the first female member. She was also made a Companion of the Order of the British Empire and a member of the Literary and Artistic Institute of France in 1935.

Because these stories were published so long ago, many of them are available for free online.


Fiction—novels in the “Anne” series

  • Anne of Green Gables (1908)
  • Anne of Avonlea (1909)
  • Anne of the Island (1915)
  • Anne’s House of Dreams (1917)
  • Rainbow Valley (1919)
  • Rilla of Ingleside (1921)
  • Anne of Windy Poplars (1936)
  • Anne of Ingleside (1939)

Nb—the above are in order of publication, not chronological order.

Fiction—novels in the “Story Girl” series

  • The Story Girl (1911)
  • The Golden Road (1913)

Fiction—novels in the “Emily” series

  • Emily of New Moon (1923)
  • Emily Climbs (1925)
  • Emily’s Quest(1927)

Fiction—novels in the “Pat” series

  • Pat of Silver Bush (1932)
  • Mistress Pat (1935)

Fiction—other novels

  • Kilmeny of the Orchard (1910)
  • The Blue Castle (1926)
  • Magic for Marigold (1929)
  • A Tangled Web (1931)
  • Jane of Lantern Hill (1937)

Fiction—Short stories

  • Chronicles of Avonlea (1912)
  • Further Chronicles of Avonlea(1920)
  • The Road to Yesterday (1974)
  • The Doctor’s Sweetheart (1979)
  • Akin to Anne: Tales of Other Orphans (1988)
  • Along the Shore: Tales by the Sea (1989)
  • Among the Shadows: Tales from the Darker Side (1990)
  • After Many Days: Tales of Time Passed (1991)
  • Against the Odds: Tales of Achievement (1991)
  • At the Altar: Matrimonial Tales (1994)
  • Across the Miles: Tales of Correspondence (1995)
  • Christmas with Anne and Other Holiday Stories (1995)


  • Courageous Women (1934) (with Marian Keith and Mabel Burns McKinley)


  • The Poetry of Lucy Maud Montgomery (1887)
  • The Watchman & Other Poems (1916)


  • The Alpine Path: The Story of My Career (1917)
  • The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery, Vol. I - V (1988-1995)


Montgomery has earned her place within the Classic literaturegenre.