Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in 1874 in the tiny village of Clifton, on Prince Edward Island. Her mother died when she was two and when her father remarried six years later, moving to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, the young Lucy was shipped off to live with her austere grandparents in Cavendish.
With few neighbors her age, she turned to reading. She remembered having “devoured” Pickwick Papers, Rob Roy, Pilgrim’s Progress, Little Women and other staples of the day. She also became an inveterate diarist and she commented in her journal; “I cannot remember when I was not writing, or when I did not mean to be an author.”
Ms Montgomery started her creative writing career in her teens with the sale of her poem “On Cape Leforce” to a local newspaper, This was followed by short stories submitted to American and Canadian periodicals. Again, in her journals, she wrote; “Elderly couple apply to orphan asylum for boy. By mistake girl is sent.” – this, the genesis of the book that would bring her both fame and fortune.
Ms Montgomery finished the manuscript for ANNE OF GREEN GABLES in 1905 and submitted it to five publishers and promptly received five rejections. She then tucked the manuscript away in a hat box until 1907 when she re-submitted a revised version to Boston publisher L. C. Page.
L.C. Page had clearly had a change of heart and enthusiastically accepted her manuscript. Young Anne Shirley made her debut in 1908.
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES was an immediate success, garnering nearly sixty favorable reviews and creating a royalty check of $1,730 the first year. On June 20, 1908, the day of publication, and exuberant L. M. Montgomery wrote in her journal; “Today has been, as Anne herself would say, ‘an epoch in my life.’…my first book. Not a great book, but mine, mine, mine, something which I created.”