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The Life of L.M. Montgomery (con't.)

photos of the Ewan Macdonald portrait of Ewan Macdonald portrait of Ewan Macdonald portrait of Ewan Macdonald In March of 1911 Maud's grandmother died, and in July she married the Rev. Ewan Macdonald at her Campbell cousins' home in Park Corner. After a honeymoon in Scotland and England, visiting many of the literary sites she had read of all her life, they moved to Ewan's parish in Leaskdale, Ontario.

The Macdonalds' life in Leaskdale began in joy. Finally Montgomery could have a home of her own--even though it belonged to the church--and she became a mother. Montgomery had published four novels while she lived on the Island and had prepared a collection of short stories. She continued to write for the fifteen years they spent in the village of Leaskdale, and she also performed all of the many duties of a rural minister's wife.

Tragedy struck in 1914, first with the outbreak of the war and then with the still birth eight days later of her second son. The war was a daily agony to Montgomery--much of which is recorded in her novel Rilla of Ingleside (1920). A third, healthy son was born in 1915. When the war was finally over, Montgomery's beloved cousin Frederica Campbell Macfarlane died of the Spanish flu the war brought in its wake. A few months later Ewan Macdonald suffered a severe attack of mental illness. He was to suffer periodically from mental illness for the rest of his life, and Maud Montgomery Macdonald was never free from the strain and worry of the attacks or the dread of them. And Montgomery became embroiled in a nine-year lawsuit against the L.C. Page Company, her original publishers.

photo of Norval housePartly because of the Church union controversy and partly because of a car accident and an unfortunate lawsuit against Ewan Macdonald, they decided to leave Leaskdale, and moved to Norval, at the Forks of the Credit, close to Toronto. They lived in Norval for nine years (1926-35). Montgomery was close enough to Toronto to be able to travel in easily and quickly, and she enjoyed her many public engagements as speaker and guest at literary and press clubs. The boys were almost grown and her writing continued to sell well. But her husband's mental illness became a problem that could no longer be hidden or ignored, and they retired to Toronto in 1935.

At their final home, "Journey's End," Montgomery enjoyed her garden and cats and writing. One son became a lawyer; the other, a medical doctor. She became an avid movie fan, and continued to attend public readings and many teas and readings in her honor. The strain of Ewan Macdonald's mental illness continued, and rumblings from Europe began to make Montgomery fear that another huge war was inevitable.

photo of LM Montgomery Macdonald's gravestoneL.M. Montgomery Macdonald died in 1942. She was buried in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, on the hill overlooking the land and sea she loved.

Order of the British Empire medalMontgomery was much honored in her time and continues to be so today. In 1923 she was the first Canadian woman to be made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in Great Britain. In 1935 she was elected to the Literary and Artistic Institute of France and was also made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. In 1936, largely because her books had already made the area a destination for travelers, the Government of Canada purchased land in Cavendish and designated it for a national park. In 1943 Lucy Maud Montgomery Macdonald was declared in Canada a person of national Photo of Anne of Green Gables cast 2001. Photo by Barrett & MacKay.historic significance. In 1999 she was voted one of the top twenty heroes of the Twentieth Century. Her novels are still international best sellers.

In her lifetime she published twenty novels, five hundred short stories and five hundred poems in periodicals, two collections of short stories, one volume of poetry, and contributed three short biographies to the volume Courageous Women. For years she gave public readings and talks and wrote articles for newspapers and magazines. She left behind over a dozen scrapbooks, a couple of thousand photographs, wonderful handiwork, hundreds of clippings, and a million-word journal illustrated with her own photographs. Her novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages and she has inspired productions in radio, television, theatre, cinema, music, and art.

For many people around the world, L.M. Montgomery is Canada.


Why Study Montgomery? | The Life of L.M. Montgomery | L.M. Montgomery's Impact Globally | List of Works | List of Libraries and Archives | Chronology
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go to LM Montgomery Institute at UPEI Website go to University of Guelph Website go to Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace Website go to Virtual Museum of Canada Website go to Confederation Centre of the Arts Website go to National Library of Canada Website go to English Home Page go to French Homepage current page List of Works section go to List of Archives section