Lucy Maud Montgomery 101
One hundred years ago, Anne of Green Gables introduced readers to one of the most enduring characters in fiction and launched Canada's most lucrative literary franchise. The heartwarming story of the plucky red-headed orphan has gone on to sell hundreds of millions of copies and become the basis for an unprecedented television phenomenon. But behind the fictional and feisty Anne Shirley lurked the often-tormented life of author Lucy Maud Montgomery. CBC Archives takes a look at the life, death and lasting legacy of the woman who created Anne.
This CBC Television clip looks at the reasons behind the Lucy Maud renaissance and why, as one scholar says, "she continues to surprise us."
• The publication of the first volume of The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery in 1985 unveiled a whole new side of the writer to the public.
• The Lucy Maud Montgomery depicted in her journals was more adult, displaying sexuality and adult emotions in a way Anne Shirley never could. The range of emotions, including passion and anger, offered critics a new context in which to evaluate her work.
• Since 1985 dozens of academic papers have been published on Montgomery's life and work. They include:
- Anne in Japanese Popular Culture
- Consumable Avonlea: The Commodification of the Green Gables Mythology and
- Montgomery's Island in the Net: Metaphor and Community on the Kindred Spirits E-mail List.
• In 1994 the University of Prince Edward Island hosted the first International L.M. Montgomery Conference. Organized by the school's L.M. Montgomery Institute, it attracted a mix of academics and fans to Charlottetown to discuss and debate the Green Gables creator.
• Nearly 100 Anne fans attended the conference from Canada, the United States, Australia, China, England, Ireland, Israel, Scotland, Sweden and Japan.
• The biannual conference has helped generate new, and often controversial, opinions about Montgomery's work. A 2000 paper by a Queen's University professor caused a stir by suggesting that Montgomery had channelled her repressed lesbian desires into the text of Anne of Green Gables.
• As Elizabeth Epperly, the head of the L.M. Montgomery Institute, says in this clip even though Montgomery died in 1942 "she continues to surprise us in new ways."
• The seventh International Conference, which is entitled "Storm and Dissonance: L.M. Montgomery and Conflict," is scheduled to be held at UPEI in June 2006.
• To date (2005), L.M. Montgomery's 20 novels, 12 short story collections, two books of poetry and five volumes of posthumously published journals are estimated to have sold nearly 50 million copies worldwide.
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: June 21, 2002
Guest(s): Mary Doody James, Elizabeth Epperly, Jennifer Litster
Host: Mark Kelly
Reporter: Laurie Graham
Last updated: March 22, 2012
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
All Clips from this Topic
Creators of the popular Anne of Green Gables: The Musical reflect on i...
A reading from Montgomery's private journals.
A behind-the-scenes look at how Anne of Green Gables became the most w...
How Lucy Maud Montgomery's young life was changed forever by a family ...
At long last Montgomery gets married and moves to Ontario to begin her...
Montgomery's heirs crack down on unlicensed Anne of Green Gables merch...
A guided tour of the land that inspired Anne of Green Gables.
The story of how "Ania z Zielonego Wzgorza" became a popular hero in P...
Friends and family share their personal memories of Lucy Maud Montgome...
Lucy Maud Montgomery pursues her writing career in turn-of-the-century...
Montgomery lives out her final years as family troubles, her own menta...
Montgomery's heirs take their fight over profits with television produ...
An expert on Montgomery reacts to a theory that Anne of Green Gables c...
Scholars and fans gather in P.E.I. for an international conference ded...
A look at Japan's 50-year obsession with all things Anne.
A look inside the final volume of Montgomery's personal, and painful, ...
Over 100 years ago, Anne of Green Gables introduced readers to one of ...