featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, November 30, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LUCY MAUD MONTGOMERY!

Author Lucy Maud Montgomery
Normally Mondays feature craft-centric blog posts, but I thought I’d change things up a bit today in order to wish Lucy Maud Montgomery a happy 141st birthday. Young girls for well over a hundred years now have Lucy to thank for many cherished hours spent reading about and bonding with Anne Shirley, the heroine she created in 1908 when she wrote Anne of Green Gables.

Anne is an eleven-year-old orphan mistakenly sent to live with the middle-age Cuthbert siblings after they requested a young boy to help them on their Prince Edward Island farm. Lucy based Anne and the story of her life on a similar event she remembered from her own childhood and infused the book with her many memories of growing up on Prince Edward Island.

You know a book has definitely stood the test of time when after 107 years children around the world are still reading it and both movies and television shows continue to be made from the book and its sequels. There have also been various stage adaptations over the years, include a musical.

Evelyn Nesbitt
More than 50 million copies of Anne of Green Gables have sold since the book was first published, and it’s been translated into 20 different languages. Anne of Green Gables became so popular that Lucy went on to write a series of sequels.

Here’s an interesting fact about Anne that I discovered—Montgomery based Anne’s looks on Evelyn Nesbitt. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Evelyn was the original Gibson girl. Her face and figure appeared nearly everywhere in the early part of the 20th century. Evelyn was America’s first celebrity, paving the way for the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. She was also indirectly responsible for what was called the Trial of the Century back in 1906 when her jealous millionaire husband Harry K. Thaw murdered her ex-lover, famed New York architect Stanford White.

Gibson Girl
It’s ironic that the scandalous Evelyn Nesbitt was the physical model for the sweet Anne Shirley, but as any author will tell you, when inspiration strikes, you run with it. Generations of young girls, myself included, are quite happy Evelyn had a hand in inspiring Lucy to create Anne.

13 comments:

Angela Adams said...

Thanks for the post! One of our local PBS stations just ran the mini-series over the weekend.

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

Thanks for stopping by, Angela!

Judy Penz Sheluk, author said...

Montgomery's book, Emily Climbs, about a young woman who dreams of becoming a writer, is still on my bookshelf. I received it as a Christmas gift and have reread it many times. In fact, my protagonist in The Hanged Man's Noose, Emily Garland, is named after Emily of New Moon!

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

Fascinating, Judy! Definitely shows how some authors make an impact on us.

Melissa Keir said...

Would you believe I never read the story? I guess it didn't appeal to me once I could get my hands on Johanna Lindsey. :)

Cynthia Kuhn said...

Oh, I love this! Thank you. The cover you put here is exactly the same one that was on my paperback copy (though mine had tape all over it because I read that book so much).

Huge fan of the Anne, Emily, and Story Girl books...

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

LOL, Melissa!

Cynthia, that was obviously one very well loved book.

Cynthia Luhrs said...

One of my favorite childhood books. I didn't know this, thanks!

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

I didn't either, Cynthia. Not until I started doing a bit of research about Lucy. Fascinating, isn't it? Especially when you consider how scandalous Evelyn's life was and how wholesome a character Anne was. If you want to learn more about Evelyn, read E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime or watch the movie. The murder of her husband was labeled the Crime of the Century back then.

Ava said...

It's one of my favorite stories, and was a huge inspiration for me as a writer, and a person.

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

Thanks for stopping by, Ava!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Excellent post! Also, one of my favorite stories. When I visited PEI, I went to see Anne's house and the stage performance of Anne of Green Gables. I've also watched the series on television.

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

Thanks, Joanna. Glad you enjoyed it. I'd love to get to Anne's house someday.