Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Birthday Maud!

As a little girl my mother introduced me to a twelve-year-old, red headed girl named Anne. It wasn't long before I found myself immersed in the world of Avonlea, the quaint yet imaginary town on the north shore of Canada's smallest province. I would steal borrow the Anne books from my mother's precious collection and would only begrudgingly return them after countless reminders. 

Green Gables, National Historic Site, 
Cavendish, PEI (2014)

I soon started a collection of my own, which has grown to include each novel, short story collections, all L.M. Montgomery's published journals, numerous biographies and countless collectables volumes that includes recipe books, crafting books and others. (I even have a first edition Anne of Ingleside that is more precious to me than my first copy of Chorus of the Dead.)

Anne's bedroom at Green Gables complete with dress with puffed sleeves.

 Over the years I've read every book written by Anne's creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery. I've visited Prince Edward Island twice and hunted down all museums and locales related to Ms. Montgomery in my home province of Ontario. Southern Ontario especially is riddled with filming sites used by Kevin Sullivan for his mini-series and later Road to Avonlea television series. 

In short I am obsessed. 

Lover's Lane, walking trail at Green Gables

I consider it bad parenting on my part that my teenage daughter is not as enthralled with the books and stories as I am. She enjoys it, and so does my son, but they are nowhere near my obsession levels, so sometimes my giddiness is viewed as amusing instead of mutual. 

Lucy Maud Montgomery's Birthplace in Clifton (now New London), PEI. This museum houses her original wedding dress and many scrapbooks produced by the author over her lifetime. 

Today is Lucy Maud Montgomery's 141st birthday. If Maud hadn't been born on this day (November 30) in 1874 the world would not have discovered little red headed Anne, or the precocious Sara Stanley. Emily of New Moon would not have been penned and Valancy Stirling (The Blue Castle) would not have met the love of her life. Happy Birthday Maud. I hope you know how your  imaginary world has touched girls like me, and created women not afraid to daydream or see beauty in the everyday.

  Red cliffs at Cabot Beach Provincial Park on the north shore of PEI. 

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