Volume IV opens in 1929, when Maud is 54 years old. She and her husband Ewan have lived in Norval, Ontario for several years. Her son Chester is about to begin college. Stuart is still in boarding school.
[There is a] complex relation between the journals and their creator. She may dramatize events to heighten their effect once she decides to write about them, but she will also resist writing about deeply unpleasant events in her family until there is no chance of a reprieve or reversal.
Her evasions show another emerging conflict in her life, between her need of her journal as a release from anxiety she cannot talk over with her husband, and her growing perception of her journal as a permanent record that will eventually be published, exposing family privacies during her sons’ lifetimes. She does not allow herself to express her worst fears about her family or her own deepest self-doubts in this journal. She tells nothing that she thinks will truly diminish her future reputation. She is always the patient and concerned mother. This volume of the journals appears frank and revealing, but there are subjects she clearly avoids. Consequently these late journals hold new fascination for those interested in the smoke-and-mirrors game of self-representation.
Last month I was amazed to find in my inbox the following email from Mary Rubio, one of the two editors of Maud’s journals:
I enjoyed reading your post — and am glad to know how much people find engagement with L. M. Montgomery’s journals.
Some of my speculations about questions you wonder about can be found in my biography of Montgomery, LUCY MAUD MONTGOMERY: THE GIFT OF WINGS (Random House, 2008).
Mary Henley Rubio
While I haven’t yet read THE GIFT OF WINGS, I have downloaded it and look forward to digging in after the read along is done. Happy reading! Be sure to stop by 30 August for our discussion on Volume IV.
*LMM’s married name