Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Spirit and fire and dew

Posted by Lissa on September 24, 2008

Oh, how sad!

Despite her great success, it is known that she suffered from depression, that she was isolated, sad and filled with worry and dread for much of her life. But our family has never spoken publicly about the extent of her illness.

What has never been revealed is that L.M. Montgomery took her own life at the age of 67 through a drug overdose.

I loved, loved, loved Anne of Green Gables and re-read it more often than I’d like to admit.  During one trip to Canada my older sister dug it out for a trip companion; occasionally she’d giggle and read a line or paragraph out loud, one that was funny or memorable.  EVERY TIME, I’d amaze her by quoting the next sentence or line.  It’s that bad.

One of our favorite childhood memories (the kind that gets re-told at every damn Christmas) comes from that book.  I was, and am still, the type of person who has a pretty broad vocabulary due to copious reading . . . which does NOT imbue the reader with the knowledge of how to PRONOUNCE the big words.  When I was about ten, I prettily admired one of my Christmas presents and declared it “exquisite.”  Only I thought it was pronounced “ex-qui-SEET.”  Damn that Anne of Green Gables!  My family’s STILL laughing at me!

I’m so sad to hear that Lucy Maud Montgomery did not get to live happily ever after, but I’ll always be grateful that she wrote so endearingly, and enduringly, about one who did.

P.S. I also have the Little House books more-or-less memorized.  They’re chicken soup books — the kind of book that allows you to bring back the best part of childhood, books that somehow compress a soft bed, a warm blankie, a cup of coffee and a kitty into a paperback.  I think everyone should have a shelf of chicken soup books.

**”For Anne to take things calmly would have been to change her nature.  All “spirit and fire and dew,” as she was, the pleasures and pains of life came to her with trebled intensity.”

(h/t The Corner)


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