Lucy Maud Montgomery by Jane Urquhart

Extraordinary Canadians: Lucy Maud Montgomery

While her beloved fictional characters inhabited a world where love and community could overcome most tribulations, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s own life was marked by inescapable grief and loneliness. Raised virtually as an orphan by grandparents unable to give her much affection, Montgomery was nevertheless an optimistic and enthusiastic young woman, able to delight in her literary success and in the company of her wider family and friends. But after marrying a clergyman beset by a debilitating mental illness, she struggled to maintain appearances. Even as she sustained her prolific output of fiction and won adoring fans worldwide, depression slowly engulfed her. Jane Urquhart explores the fascinating contradictions embodied by this enduring artist in whose fiction the imagination lights a way through the darkness, but in whose life the creeping shadows would ultimately shut out everything but the work.