Today is my mother's birthday. I hope it is a happy one.
In other birthday news... One of my favorite things is the Writer's Almanac which shows up every day in my inbox. Today, I was suprised to discover, is also the birthday of Lucy Maude Montgomery. She is the author of my all-time favorite book Anne of Green Gables 100 years ago. The biographical sketch of L.M. Mongomery ends with a shocking fact which has recently come to light. Here is an exerpt of this morning's Writer's Almanac:
It's the birthday of the Canadian children's author L.M. Montgomery, Lucy Maud Montgomery, (books by this author) born in Clifton, Prince Edward Island, in 1874. She wrote many short stories and poems, and 20 novels. Nineteen of these novels were set on Prince Edward Island, including her first, Anne of Green Gables (1908), about an old farm couple who think they have arranged to adopt a boy to help out with their farm, and instead end up with Anne, a spunky redheaded orphan girl.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables, so there are many events and tributes surrounding Montgomery. A couple of months ago, in September 2008, Montgomery's granddaughter took advantage of the interest in her grandma to write an article in a Canadian newspaper and reveal that her grandmother's death at age 67, which had been reported as heart failure, was in fact no such thing. L.M. Montgomery was suffering from depression and committed suicide.
I looked up the article her granddaughter wrote for the Globe and Mail and it was very touching. I find it profoundly sad that L.M. Mongomery suffered during her lifetime and society being what it was at the time required that it all be swept under the rug.
Here's an image of a facsimile of the first edition released to celebrate the centennial of the book. I was going to buy it, but the reviews were mixed. Evidently the original book was scanned and there were problems with the word recognition program. this resulted in some odd tyographical errors in the finished volumes. According to one review, "Marilla" came out "Mania" on more than one instance. I guess a human proofreader might have come in handy.