All About L.M. Montgomery Who Wrote Anne of Green Gables

The Author, All her Anne Books and Her Life in Canada

Prince Edward Island in Canada - Color Photo
Prince Edward Island, Canada, where L.M. Montgomery who wrote Anne of Green Gables was born and the setting for the book. Barrett & MacKay/All Canada Photos/Getty Images

What We Know About L.M. Montgomery, the Woman Who Wrote Anne of Green Gables, Her "Anne" Books and Her Life

  • Lucy Maud Montgomery was born on November 30, 1874, on Prince Edward Island (PEI) in Canada and spent her childhood there in the town of Cavendish. Her most famous book, is set on Prince Edward Island (as are almost all of her other books), which is located on the east coast of Canada in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  • While her books were published under the name “L.M. Montgomery” and her full name was “Lucy Maud Montgomery,” from childhood she was known as “Maud Montgomery.”
  • Anne of Green Gables, Montgomery’s first book, was published in 1908. Although she had not planned on writing a series, the book was enormously successful, and, at the urging of her publisher, Montgomery went on to write additional books about Anne Shirley, sometimes referred to as her “Anne” books.
  • Her mother died when Montgomery was about 3; her father left PEI for employment and Maud stayed on Prince Edward Island and was raised by her strict grandparents. She began writing at an early age and had a brief teaching career before returning home to care for her grandmother after her grandfather died. It was during this period she completed her first book, and it was published. After her grandmother died, Montgomery married the Revered Ewan MacDonald on July 5, 1911. While raising a family, she continued her career as a successful writer, despite a number of personal problems. (For kids 10-14 who'd like to know more about Maud's life and books, I recommend Lucy Maud Montgomery: A Writer's Life, a picture book biography by Elizabeth MacLeod.)
  • In all, Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote eight books featuring Anne. However, unlike most series authors, she did not write the books in chronological order in terms of her main character's life. The list of books below is in the order of Anne’s life. The publication date of each is listed in parentheses.
    1. Anne of Green Gables (1908)   
    2. Anne of Avonlea (1909)   
    3. Anne of the Island (1915)   
    4. Anne of Windy Poplars (1936)   
    5. Anne’s House of Dreams (1917)   
    6. Anne of Ingleside (1939)   
    7. Rainbow Valley (1919)   
    8. Rilla of Ingleside (1920).
  • L.M. Montgomery’s books became enormously popular and the author received a number of honors, which included becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in England, election to the Literary and Artistic Institute of France and being made an Officer in the Order of the British Empire.
  • Due to the popularity of Anne of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island has become a popular destination for tourists from different countries who are eager to see the island, the house that was the model for the home known as Green Gables and other Anne-related attractions.
  • Anne of Green Gables is particularly popular in Japan. The title used in Japan since the first translation was published in 1952 is Akage no An, which is Red-haired Anne in English. While there does not seem to be a consensus as to why the book is so popular in Japan, the book's setting, Anne's personality and the timing of the translation - during a period in which there were many Japanese orphans - all may be factors.
  • "As a popular icon, she [Montgomery] transcended the region and country that had given birth to her and was compared with America's foremost humorist, Samuel Clemens, Alias Mark Twain, who supported her writing enthusiastically." (Source: L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture, page 10)
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery Macdonald died on April 24, 1942 in Toronto, Ontario. She is buried in the Cavendish cemetery on Prince Edward Island near her old home. In 1993, the L.M. Montgomery Institute was established at the University of Prince Edward Island. The Institute seeks to both serve as a center for research and study and to promote Montgomery "with a focus on education, teaching, and increasing awareness of the author."

(Sources: Lucy Maud Montgomery: A Writer's Life by Elizabeth MacLeod, L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture, edited by Irene Gammel and Elizabeth Epperly, L.M. Montgomery Institute)