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Creator / L. M. Montgomery

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Lucy Maud Montgomery OC (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942) was a Canadian author best known for her Anne of Green Gables series.

Works by L.M. Montgomery with their own pages:

Tropes found in other works:

  • Actually, That's My Assistant: In Anne of Avonlea and a few other stories, characters will be expecting the visit of a famous authoress. The doorbell will ring, and they will meet a tall, elegant grand dame with a serene countenance...and a short, homely-looking bustling matron. They always think the grand dame is the writer, but...
  • Age-Gap Romance: Occurs regularly in the short stories; one of the most noteworthy examples is "The Doctor's Sweetheart," where Marcella and the Doctor meet when he is thirty and she is eight. They pledge their troth when she's fifteen, but don't get married for another seven years.
  • Arcadia: Prince Edward Island, when you're not roaming its Ghibli Hills. Cheerful farmers who work in harmony with the land are a frequent appearance.
  • Author Avatar: According to Montgomery herself, Pat from Pat of Silver Bush was written to be most like her. In her words, she gave Anne her imagination and Emily her "knack for scribbling", but Pat was the heroine who was most closely modeled after her own personality.
  • Baby-Doll Baby: In Magic for Marigold, a Lesley family heirloom is a life-size wax doll of a baby that some long-deceased family member had made of her own baby, who died. The mother not only dressed the doll in her baby's clothes, but carried it with her, talked to it, and slept with it as if it were real.
  • Children Are Innocent / Children Are Special: Most prominently found in Magic For Marigold. The book follows Marigold from about age five to age thirteen, thereby ending her story about where most Montgomery heroines enter theirs, and Marigold's childhood and the imagination and odd perspective she has make up a lot of the book.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Montgomery had a reasonable taste for these, being a Victorian writer influenced by Dickens, and writing many short stories that required a speedy wrap-up. Particular standouts include:
    • "The Materialization of Cecil" sees a spinster invent a long-ago, spurned suitor out of whole cloth, because she's tired of the pity that comes with never having had a beau. She benefits from the romance and allure that this gives her— and then a man who matches her description point-for-point walks into town (including looks, general age, hometown, occupation...)
    • In Magic for Marigold, wispy Meredith Lesley wants to name her little girl Marigold, after a childhood friend of hers who had died. Then, the doctor who saves the baby's life happens to be named Marigold, and becomes her namesake. Marigold has always been a rare name. It honestly would have made more sense if Dr. Marigold Woodruff was the same girl who was Meredith's friend, who went West with her family, lost touch, and came back.
  • Cool Old Lady: Witness Old Grandmother in Magic for Marigold, Great-Aunt Nancy in Emily of New Moon, Aunt Becky in A Tangled Web (1931), and several in the short stories. Montgomery had a fondness for Deadpan Snarker grand dames who had no more use for respectability and freely said what was on their minds.
    • A variant comes whenever Montgomery introduces a witch, such as Peg Bowen. Said "witch" is actually an eccentric middle-aged to elderly woman who eschews common society, but is canny and observant enough to help out children in need.
  • Cute Mute: Kilmeny, from Kilmeny of the Orchard, has been secluded and sheltered for all of her life, and retains a childlike simplicity.
  • Dead Man Writing: In the short story "From Out the Silence," a woman finds a letter from her late friend, who knew her days were numbered. In the letter, their foolish but bitter quarrel is forgiven at last.
  • Deconfirmed Bachelor: Uncle "Klondike" Lesley fits every box on the list. Despite his whole family trying to set him up with a lady friend, he finds fault with every woman that they choose; he scorns the idea of love, especially Love at First Sight (although he mentions having witnessed a few passionate love affairs), he swears he'll remain a bachelor to the end of his days — then falls head-over-heels in love with a female pediatrician that he asks to look after his dying niece.
  • The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: Much furor about Marigold in Magic for Marigold before someone tells her the problem they fear is head lice.
  • Dry Crusader: A few of her stories and novels include characters who champion for Temperance and alcohol prohibition, a very timely subject. Only "The Deacon's Painkiller," a short story about a particularly self-righteous minister, features the crusader getting karmically rebuked.
  • The Edwardian Era: Notable in the Emily books, when Emily meets a slightly loopy woman who happily tells the story of "The day I spanked the king" (read: Edward.)
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Almost all of her heroines have some talent at housekeeping and cooking. Justified, as they are all of a social class and era when cooking would be in a woman's basic skill set. Frequently, Montgomery puts domesticity in a positive light. For heroines like Valancy and Pat, a woman in charge of her own house and her own kitchen is a woman independent and creative. A notable exception is the Story Girl from the novel of the same name and The Golden Road.
    • Jane in particular takes to cooking like a duck to water, feeding both herself and her father, even though she was never allowed to cook before. She does prudently buy a cookbook first, and donuts defeat her.
  • The Gay '90s: Although the characters aren't exactly off to live the "gay" life, for the most part. Earlier stories of hers have Queen Victoria cited as the reigning monarch, and several times characters express respect for her.
  • Ghibli Hills: Prince Edward Island, from the red dust of its roads to the gentle moaning of the sea, which is never far off.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Montgomery frequently revisits the character of the widowed mother who is fanatically attached to her only begotten son, and fiercely jealous of any romantic attachments in his life.
    • Another example is Marigold. The Lesley clan is constantly bringing up Clementine, who was the first wife of Marigold's father (both now dead), and comparing her to Marigold's mother. Marigold, naturally for a five-year-old, grows to resent Clementine's memory. Marigold's mother herself doesn't care.
  • Growing Up Sucks: This trope hits Marigold Lesley hardest. She completely loses her ability to imagine Sylvia, her dear imaginary friend.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Like any other writer of her era, Montgomery runs hard into this trope. She loved the use of the term "puss" to describe a cat, and pretty much every heroine of hers is called "queer" sooner or later — meaning, unusual, defiant of social custom, difficult to define.
  • Hysterical Woman: Pat of Silver Bush, in her first book, is a nascent version of this trope. She loves very, very deeply and tends to take change badly — it takes her entire family to calm her down after her father shaves his mustache. As a young girl she is already gaining a reputation for going into hysterics; as she grows up she has better control of her emotions, but is always considered odd.
  • Imaginary Friend: The more isolated characters have these, including Anne before she is adopted, Emily and Marigold (whose father also had imaginary friends).
  • Love at First Sight: A generous helping — although frequently this love is more like "a flash of recognition between kindred spirits," which can later blossom into love. Klondike Lesley's instant love for Dr. M. Woodruff Richards is a prominent example.
  • The Matchmaker: The narrator "The Education Of Betty" considers it his duty as Betty's guardian to find a good husband for her.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Downplayed in Kilmeny of the Orchard. Kilmeny's aunt and uncle are certain that her muteness is a divine punishment stemming from her mother's vow to never speak to the father that rejected her, even at his deathbed. Eric consults with his friend, David, a doctor specializing in the throat. David agrees with the aunt and uncle, but phrases it differently: Kilmeny's in utero development was affected by her mother's months-long silence and psychological breakdown, and her condition is psychosomatic.
  • Meaningful Name: Discussed in the opening chapters of Magic for Marigold, when the Lesley clan goes over dozens of names, dismissing each one for some inappropriate connotation. Finally Enforced when the baby is threatened by a mortal illness, and they name her in honor of the doctor who saved her life - Marigold.
  • Nature Lover: Many heroines take joy and solace in the natural world, whether coastlines or hills or forests. Expect a girl to know every tree around her home like an old friend.
  • New Technology Is Evil: A fairly common trope in Montgomery's work.
    • The Murrays in the Emily series are considered old-fashioned by their neighbors for using candles instead of kerosene lamps, and in "Pat of Silver Bush" makes fun of her cousins for getting their water from a tap.
    • The trope is downplayed with and lampshaded by Anne in Anne's House of Dreams, when she acknowledges that her misgivings about Avonlea's newly installed telephones are probably sentimental and unrealistic.
    • Interestingly, Montgomery's ambivalence about new technology did not extend to cars, which are portrayed very positively in later works such as The Blue Castle and Jane of Lantern Hill.
  • Oblivious to Love: In "The Pursuit of the Ideal," Roger doesn't notice that his good chum Freda is in love with him, because he's got this high-faluting notion of what his Ideal Woman will be like. Freda stays silent because she just wants him to be happy. Gradually, Roger gets his head out of the clouds, and realizes he loves Freda, and they live Happily Ever After.
  • Old Maid: A fair share throughout, of various socioeconomic standings. Poor and asocial old maids may pick up a reputation for witchery, while well-to-do maiden aunts may become generous sponsors. In some books, two spinsters might set up house together (as in Jane, where they even adopt an orphan girl).
    • The heroine of "The Materialization of Duncan Mc Tavish" is a notable example, as Montgomery plays with the trope definition. This heroine, who has never had a beau, invents one out of whole cloth (and a Line-of-Sight Name) and places him safely in the distant past, and this lost love gives her a certain respect among the local girls.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Anne. Emily. For starters. And there's a whole book of short stories (Akin to Anne) dedicated to nothing but orphan's ordeals.
  • The Penance: In the story "The Promise," a high-living, flippant young woman is convinced that she caused the death of her cousin, a beloved pillar of the community. The young woman repents by cutting out any source of joy in her life— parties, music, gossip, even marriage. She plans on repenting so for the rest of her life.
  • Put on a Bus: One of the most often repeated phrases in Montgomery's works is probably, "He/she/they left for the Prairies." During the Edwardian and Victorian Eras, The Government of Canada ran a truly massive campaign to recruit people to settle the Prairie Provinces. The Prairies were far enough for characters to disappear into—and close enough (thanks to the CN Railroad) that they can come back at any time. Very rarely, characters come or go all the way to the West Coast (such as at the end of Pat.)
  • Proper Lady: Pat of Silver Bush and Emily of New Moon are both conscious of their roles as daughters of an important, dignified family, so when they come of age they are reserved and well-mannered, at least in public— in private they may still do such scandalous things as write poetry and take roaming walks by moonlight.
  • The Promise: Treated very darkly in Kilmeny of the Orchard. Kilmeny's aunt and uncle believe her muteness is owed to a vow of silence taken by her mother during her pregnancy, to never speak another word to the father that rejected her. Even when her father lay dying and asked his daughter to speak one word of reconciliation, Kilmeny's mother refused. She didn't speak a word until after her baby's birth, when she broke down sobbing.
  • Race for Your Love: "Here Comes the Bride." This is what happens when a headstrong young lady, sick of the gossip around her, says she'll just marry the next man who asks her...and then a gossip takes it to the town.
  • Real Name as an Alias: "The Pot and the Kettle"
  • Rebellious Princess: Varvara, a Russian princess, runs away from her aunt and spends an afternoon playing with Marigold. And Marigold doesn't believe Varvara when she says she is a princess.
  • Second Love: Appears occasionally, noteworthy in Magic for Marigold where Marigold's widowed mother was the Second Love for her husband, a man who married (and outlived) his childhood sweetheart. Marigold's mother says she doesn't resent her husband's first wife at all; he loved her very much, but he loved his second wife with a more mature heart.
  • Self-Made Man: "Klondike Lesley" is the most prominent example — as his nickname suggests, he struck gold in the Klondike and returned home after traveling the world, to be endlessly fussed over and matchmade by his female relatives. Other Self Made Men appear in the short stories.
  • The Speechless: Kilmeny. She can't speak, but her hearing is fine (she is an excellent musician) and she can laugh.
  • The Storyteller: The Story Girl, true to her name, is the most prominent, to the point that most people forget her real name is Sarah. Emily comes quite close, though.
  • Switched at Birth: Invoked and ultimately subverted— it's not true, the teller just wanted to cause mischief— in the story "I Know a Secret."
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Happens perhaps on an even balance with Love at First Sight. Most of Montgomery's characters live in small towns, so most of the people of the community have grown up together, and marry people they've known since their schooldays.
  • Wife Husbandry: "The Education of Betty." By accident. To clarify, it's a double-subversion: The narrator and main character has been helping to raise Betty, the daughter of the woman he was in love with as a young man. When the girl is older he realizes he's in love with her, and, denying it, tries very hard to set her up with a nice boy her own age. But Betty will have none of it, because she's in love with him, too.