L.M. Montgomery and Anne Shirley



When you read Anne of Green Gables and then read the biography of L.M. Montgomery, you begin to realize why Anne is such a well written character.  She is the little red headed girl that probably lived in Maud’s head for some time.  She is, in many ways, the Montgomery of the fictional realm.

When Maud Montgomery was 21 months old, her mother died of tuberculosis. Her father left her in the care of her mother’s parents, Alexander and Lucy Woolner Macneill of Cavendish, and moved to western Canada, where he eventually settled in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and remarried.  As an only child living with an elderly couple, Montgomery found companionship in her imagination, nature, books, and especially writing.

Like Anne Shirley, Montgomery knew that sometimes imagination is all that you have.  Sometimes in this life, when all else around you is beyond your control, that is the one thing you can control.  She also understood what Anne would go through living with two elderly people and how that would effect her.  Maybe, the Cuthberts represented everything that Maud wishes her grandparents were.  By all accounts they were extremely strict.  She knew how to write Anne as well rounded as she did because she shared so much with the character.  She may not have been as rambunctious and talkative as Anne, maybe she was who knows, but she understood the inner workings of her mind.

It sometimes strikes me that authors pour so much of their souls into their characters.  I have heard authors before describe their characters as their children.  How it is so hard to hear a bad review because it is like someone criticizing your child.  It must have been the same way with Maud and Anne Shirley.  There had to have been a deep and meaningful connection between the two of them.  A very non-fictional maternal love for her very fictional brain child.

Chapter Challenge: 7-9


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