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Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings

Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings is a major biography by Mary Henley Rubio, co-editor (with Elizabeth Waterston) of The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery. It was published to great acclaim by Doubleday Canada in October 2008, with a trade paperback edition published by Anchor Canada in April 2010. It was shortlisted for the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

From the Dust Jacket

The writings of Lucy Maud Montgomery are so familiar and captivating that it is easy to feel we know her. But the complex woman behind the classic story Anne of Green Gables experienced the dark side of life as well as the intense joy of creativity. In this revelatory biography of one of Canada’s most internationally celebrated writers, Mary Henley Rubio looks far beyond Montgomery’s own published journals and draws on years of primary research and interviews, as well as a wealth of previously undiscovered material. The result is an account of a fascinating life that is certain to surprise.

She was born in 1874 in the same lush countryside of Prince Edward Island that her novels have made so famous, but Montgomery’s home life could never measure up to the idyllic nature of her surroundings. Raised by her grandparents following her mother’s early death, Montgomery craved affection and indulgence that proved elusive. A gifted student, she found that her ardent creativity and ambition clashed with expectations placed upon women in the nineteenth century. Her professional accomplishments were exceptional, and on the surface her family life seemed picture-perfect, yet Montgomery endured intense hardships, including legal fights with her publisher, shattering experiences with motherhood and as wife to a deeply troubled man, and the anguish of her own mental instability.

This comprehensive and penetrating account of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life, all set in rich social context, and featuring previously unseen photographs, is sure to take its place as the definitive biography of this literary icon.


Introduction (1–11)

The PEI Years 1874–1911 (13–157)

The Leaskdale Years 1911–1926 (159–338)

The Norval Years 1926–1935 (341–446)

The Toronto Years 1935–1942 (449–580)

Epilogue (583–97)

Acknowledgements (598–602)

Endnotes (603–41)

Select Bibliography (642–61)

Index (662–84)


Reviews by Cynthia Comacchio, Philip Coons, Irene Gammel, Heidi MacDonald, Kathleen A. Miller, and Sean Somers.


Author: Mary Henley Rubio
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Date: 2008
Format: Jacketed hardcover
Pagination: 684 pp.
ISBN: 9780385659833 (cloth), 978038566760-9 (paper)

This page last updated on 14 December 2022. Please contact the site owner with additions, corrections, questions, and suggestions.