L.M. Montgomery, Author of ‘Anne of Green Gables,’ Celebrated in New Heritage Minute

March 8, 2018 Updated: March 9, 2018

How does one fit a lifetime into a minute? One doesn’t, but it’s a start.

Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote the beloved “Anne of Green Gables,” is the subject of the latest Heritage Minute presented by Historica Canada.

For those already familiar with Montomery’s life, there may be unraveling threads of association as one watches the 60-second production. All of the words are taken from her diaries, Historica Canada’s director of programs Brigitte d’Auzac said in a CBC report.

Of course, only a few short quotes can be selectively chosen.

There is a moment in the Heritage Minute where we watch Montgomery perusing rejection letters, saying “some days I almost give up.” She then tucks a manuscript away in a dark closet.

More information about this can be found on the the L.M. Montgomery Institute website.

“In 1905, she wrote her first and most famous novel, Anne of Green Gables. She sent the manuscript to several publishers, but, after receiving rejections from all of them, she put it away in a hat box. In 1907, she found the manuscript again, re-read it, and decided to try again to have it published. Anne of Green Gables was accepted by the Page Company of Boston, Massachusetts, and published in 1908. An immediate best-seller, the book marked the beginning of Montgomery’s successful career as a novelist.”

“Anne of Green Gables” has been translated into 36 languages and sold internationally, and Montgomery’s body of work has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide, according the Canadian Encyclopedia. She was bestowed with several awards in her lifetime, including being declared a Person of National Historic Significance in Canada.

Montgomery’s diaries have been compiled and edited into five publications, which according to reader reviews provide a lively and fascinating account, not just because of the author’s way with wit and words, but because the time-span covered, from 1889 to 1942,  included the First World War, the Spanish Fly epidemic, the stock market crash, and other historical events and contexts.

Time continues to lengthen between Montgomery’s lifetime and today, and as such her works have been celebrated and viewed from the lenses held by people standing in many historical and social contexts. Who was Mongomery? Read or listen to her books and journals to find out, and add yourself to the scores of people who love her work, her characters, and by extension, the woman herself.

Here’s a fitting excerpt from “Anne’s House of Dreams,” published in 1917.

“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people KNOW more… though I know that IS the noblest ambition… but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me… to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.”