L.M. Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery

Book - 2009
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New material about the private life of Lucy Maud Montgomery has prompted a searching look at the beloved author of Anne of Green Gables . While her fictional characters inhabited a world where love and close community bonds overcame all tribulations, Montgomery's real life was marked by grief and loneliness. Married to a clergyman who suffered from a debilitating mental illness, Montgomery struggled to keep up appearances in a Victorian society that valued propriety at all costs. As she aged, depression engulfed her; nonetheless, throughout her life, she maintained her prolific output of fiction, attracting ever-increasing numbers of fans. Acclaimed novelist Jane Urquhart has written several novels centring on the role of the artist. Here, she explores the life of a woman whose successful literary career broke the boundaries set for women of her time, but who could not escape the societal strictures of Victorian Canada or her own demons.
Publisher: Toronto : Penguin Canada, 2009
ISBN: 9780670066759
Branch Call Number: 819.3 M767u
Characteristics: 161p


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Oct 24, 2011

Very much enjoyed the last chapter in this book called “Her Reader” in which the author (Jane Urquhart) tells of her mother’s early attempt at becoming an author following a summer of reading several of L.M. Montgomery’s novels. For me, that story, in itself, made this book worth reading. That said, I really did not gain a clear understanding of Montgomery and her place in Canadian literature / the development of a modern Canada. I’m sure this is due, in part, to the fact that although I have a general knowledge about the Anne of Green Gables phenomenon, I don’t have any lasting recollection of reading about Anne or any other of Montgomery’s heroines when I was growing up, and so did not really have any preconceived views about the author (to be either disproved or reinforced). In particular, although I could see how her early years influenced her writing, I did not really get a feel for her public life once she became well-known, nor how her fame and wealth affected her place in society or her family life. However, it was interesting to read Urquhart’s view that Montgomery’s success encouraged Canadian authors by making others feel it was acceptable to write, and interesting to read, about “dusty, small towns” and also to be made aware of the negative impact literary critics can potentially have on an author’s reputation

Jul 16, 2010

Scattered, dark and utterly depressing. Not what I had hoped for. Urquhart can write beautiful, nostalgic fiction and she should perhaps stick to that.

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