If the majority of people in Italy is like me, almost nobody knows that Lucy Maud Montgomery was the author of Redheaded Anne. Yes, because in my country most people think that Readheaded Anne is the title of the work, while the true title is Anne of Green Gable. The worst thing is that we got this title from a Japanese cartoon/anime “Anna dai capelli rossi“, and not from a novel.
Therefore I was fascinated by the personality of this (here) unknown Canadian author.
Irene Gammel follows Maud’s life coupling it with the Birth of this novel: she tells us very few about the life she had before starting writing this story. We just know that Maud lost her mother when she was two years old and that her father had to leave her with her grandmother because needed to look for work throughout Canada and the United States.
As a result, she grew with this old relative, who was not really up-to-date with children management, in a cold Canadian Island, where she was almost enchained at home during the long and icy winters. She lived on books, magazines and writing and on the few occasions she had to get or pay visits to her kindred souls friends (almost female friends).
Maud Montgomery had a fundamentally shy character, but she Always felt tht writing was her fate and she started dreaming about using writing as a way of life, despite grandmother McNeill intolerancy on these topics.
She manage to publish this novel, that let her become a Worldwide famous author, when she was 36 years old (still maid), and she did it not in Canada, but in Boston, after having received several rejections from other publishing houses.
Having known the story of Anne through a Japanese cartoon, I did not thought that the novel was filled with literary references to other classics, but Maud also used a lot of her life experiences (stealing from relatives and neighbours) and stories that she read in fashion magazines (for instance, the Young face that she took as inspiration for Anne’s faces, was the one of Evelynn Nesbitt, a famous model in those years).
In this book you also find several photos of Montgomery and his environment.
It is a pity that we Italians do not know all the history of this witty writer and I hope that this biography will soon be translated into our Language.