|Green Gables, Cavendish, PEI, Canada|
I've always loved Anne, and if you want to read about what I learned from visiting Green Gables and see more pictures, please check out the entry in my travel blog. Read the comments too - two things emerge. One is that one of my friends reblogged it, and she later emailed to say that the link had appeared in the "LMM / Anne News from the World" section of the L M Montgomery Institute (it's not there now, but this is a site worth looking at for Anne fans). We were both thrilled!
The other comments relate to Maud's own life and how hard it was. I learned at Green Gables that her husband had suffered from depression (or religious melancholia as it was described at the time), but not that she did too, and so badly that there is some evidence that she killed herself - see this Guardian article. I suppose this is not the sort of thing that a museum aimed at families would want to dwell on, and I dare say the main impression left on me, that she was someone who loved the land of her birth and was driven to write about it, is still true. It made me think about the dangers of confusing author and character, of which I was guilty - when I wrote my travel post, I had to go through it carefully and remove all the places where I had referred to Maud as "Anne". Anne was happy and optimistic, but Maud's life was much harder. With how many other books have I assumed, wrongly, something about the authors because of what they wrote about?
It has certainly inspired me to re-read the Anne books, but also to read more about Maud. I bought a slim volume of memoirs while we were away, and I will be raiding both my local library and the University of Strathclyde's collections very soon.