Author: Jane Urquhart
Paratext: Introduction by John Ralston Saul
Series: Extraordinary Canadians
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Pagination: xiii + 161 pp.
L.M. Montgomery is a short biography by critically acclaimed novelist Jane Urquhart that was published as a jacketed hardcover as part of the Extraordinary Canadians series by Penguin Canada in October 2009, with a paperback edition appearing in September 2012. It includes an introduction by series editor John Ralston Saul.
Chapter 10, “Her Reader,” is included in L.M. Montgomery and Gender (2021).
From the Dust Jacket
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 creeping shadows would ultimately shut out everything but the work.
Introduction by John Ralston Saul (ix–xiii)
1. Her Death (1–9)
2. Orphan (11–19)
3. Love (21–40)
4. In a Man’s World (41–60)
5. Sorrow (61–80)
6. Places (81–94)
7. The Work (95–109)
8. Madness (111–31)
9. Sleep (133–40)
10. Her Reader (141–50)
Reviews by Kerry Clare, Irene Gammel, and Margaret Mackey.