Ed. Irene Gammel.
University of Toronto Press, 2005.
(From UTP catalogue)
Who ultimately is L.M. Montgomery, and why was there such an obsession with secrecy, hiding, and encoding in her life and fiction? Delving into the hidden life of Canada's most enigmatic writer, The Intimate Life of L.M. Montgomery answers these questions. The eleven essays illuminate Montgomery's personal writings and photographic self-portraits and probe the ways in which she actively shaped her life as a work of art. This is the first book to investigate Montgomery's personal writings, which filled thousands of pages in journals and a memoir, correspondence, scrapbooks, and photography.
Using theories of autobiography and life writing, the essays probe the author's flair for the dramatic and her exuberance in costuming, while also exploring the personal facts behind some of her fiction, including the beloved Anne of Green Gables. Focusing on topics such as sexuality, depression, marriage, aging, illness, and writing, the essays strip away the layers of art and artifice that disguised Montgomery's most intensely guarded secrets, including details of her affair with Herman Leard, her marriage with Ewen Macdonald, and her friendships with Nora Lefurgey and Isabel Anderson. The book also includes rare photographs taken by Montgomery and others, many of which have not previously appeared in print.
One of the highlights of The Intimate Life of L.M. Montgomery is the inclusion of a secret diary that Montgomery wrote with Lefurgey in 1903. This hilarious document is a rare find, for Montgomery's teasing banter presents us with a new voice that is distinct from the sombre tone of her journals. Published here for the first time, more than 100 years after its composition, this diary is virtually unknown to readers and scholars and is a welcome addition to the literature on this important figure.
This volume fills in many of the blanks surrounding Montgomery's personal life. Engaging and erudite, it is a boon for scholars and Montgomery fans alike.