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They produce too much heart-burning and jealousy. Her cranky grandparents quarreled with the community, they passed on as truths what she later recognized as prejudices, and they kept her isolated at home. Nor did Maud recall enjoying her first experiences of school life at age six: "I was an extremely sensitive child and such, I think, have always a hard time in a public school.

Just as imaginative Anne is a little odd, and Emily Byrd Starr is "queer," so Maud was a little odd and wrapped up in herself.

And thus she was perhaps meant to become a writer. For she took refuge from her loneliness in books, retreating into a world of the imagination: she found companions in the trees surrounding the homestead, who became lifelong friends and whose demise would later fill her with more anguish than the deaths of some family members; she created imaginary friends who had names and personalities and who talked back to her in the oval glass of the bookcase in her grandmother's sitting room, a scene she would replay in Anne of Green Gables.

Her imagined world seemed more lively and real than the world of prosaic farm chores involving cows and pigs and chickens, or the even more mundane household chores of washing dishes and cleaning the floor. When Aunt Emily married, the Macneill parlor became the setting for an emotional scene when little Maud cried bitter tears.

The marriage meant the loss of a close contact and the increased loneliness of staying alone with the Macneill grandparents. Presumably Maud would have slept with Aunt Emily, as was the custom during the era.

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Yet Emily's absence was soon filled by the fortunate arrival of two orphan boys, Wellington Well and David Dave Nelson of Rustico, who boarded with the Macneills from around to They were a godsend to the lonely, friendless Maud, and the seven-year-old was particularly attracted to the handsome Well, who was her own age and whose birthday was just a week after hers in December. Together they would go to the spruce woods and pick blobs of yellow chewing gum from the lichened boughs, an exquisite pleasure; she would always remember its sweet nutty flavor and its change of color from clear sunlight yellow to creamy pink when chewed.

Some winter Well and Maud "took to 'writing stories out of our own heads,'" such as Well's "The Battle of the Partridge-Eggs" in which the characters are cast into dungeons full of snakes and die predictably tragic deaths. The Nelson orphans, "although brought up in a nominally Christian family, were veritable little heathens, knowing almost nothing about God or a future state" just like Anne, who has little conception of religion.

Instead they had a firm and rooted belief in ghosts: they named the spruce grove below the orchard "The Haunted Wood" and came to believe that it really was haunted; victims of a self-induced terror, they imagined falling into the clutches of a "white thing. We used to have glorious fun together. When she was eleven the Nelson boys disappeared suddenly and unexpectedly without even saying good-bye. Perhaps Grandmother Macneill had arranged it so, trying to avoid another tearful departure scene with Maud.

And thus the closest people in Maud's young life seemed to have a way of disappearing without warning. The permanence of friendship could not be relied on and separation always seemed to leave a sense of unexplained mystery. The many goodbyes of her childhood, though, also prompted her writing and the resurrecting of the nostalgic childhood memory. In fact, in Maud's childhood, it was the relationship with her absent father Hugh John Montgomery, nicknamed Monty, that created the deepest sense of loss and the most powerful dream of togetherness.

The unpublished journal passage of May 3, , in which the adult Maud discusses her childhood love for her father is worth quoting at length:. Father came occasionally to see me and his visits were bright spots for me. I loved him so deeply and felt myself beloved in return. I think now that grandfather and grandmother resented this very love of mine for him. They saw that I did not turn to them with the outgush of affection I gave him. And it was true — I did not.

But it was their own fault. I know now that they loved me after a fashion. But they never expressed or showed that love in word or action.

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I never thought they loved me. I felt that the only person in the world who loved me was father. Nobody else ever kissed me and caressed me and called me pet names. So I gave all my love to him in those years.

And my grandparents did not like it. They thought that, as they were giving me a home and food and clothes and care that I ought to have loved them best. It would become a central conflict for Maud: on the one hand, the imagined ideal of family and love, longed for but seemingly never within her reach as a stable foundation; and on the other, the real, tangible family life with her grandparents and extended clan so profoundly imperfect as to be painful, making her reluctant to attach the word love to it.

The impact of her mother's death and her unrequited dream about reconnecting with her father left a cavernous void. With pen in hand she took charge of her destiny, dreaming up a better existence in her head and making it "real" by putting pen to paper and chalk to slate. Indeed, it seemed that she was always busy putting the fragments of her life together in writing. As she would later assert in her memoir The Alpine Path, there never was a time when she did not remember writing.

No doubt there was something to Prince Edward Island, the unyielding and addictive grip of the winds, the pungent scent of the firs, the glorious colors of the old orchards, even the blowing hurricanes and spitting snow. There was something about the people, salt-of-the-earth, tell-it-like-it-is, with a quick eye for singling out those "from away. Like Emily, little Maud wrote biographies of her cats, she wrote letters to her father, and she would write effusive love poetry to her girlfriends.

Repressed and conflicted Maud found her most honest and enduring emotional outlet in her creative writing. At the same time, Maud's desire to be a writer was never purely idealistic.

L.M. Montgomery’s Ontario Home Will Open As a Museum

A kernel of L. Montgomery's often-told legend is the romantic story of clipping a little poem, The Fringed Gentian, in her portfolio as inspiration on her journey to become a writer. The poem is about a woman's dream to "climb the alpine path" and become a famous poet. She named her memoir after it and would cite it in her autobiographical novel Emily of New Moon. The Story of a Woman. In March , at age nine, Maud would have been turning the crisp pages, whose smell blended with the smell of Grandmother Macneill's good bread, when her breath caught in her throat, as her fingers ran across the lines: "Do you think I have any right to expect — when I have had more practice I mean — to receive pay for my verses?

Actual money, as for a marketable merchandise?