- Could there be a better name for a house where you plan to spend your later years?
- Heartbroken that Maud, who had such a deep connection to places, found this first house she and her husband ever owned was a place she often didn’t want to return.
- As I’m starting a new book myself, I’ve been especially intrigued by Maud’s gardening term, spade-work, for all the work that goes into a book before the writing begins.
- I loved LANTERN HILL but view WINDY POPLARS and INGELSIDE as the weakest Anne books (though I’m still fiercely faithful to them). Interesting they were written in this tumultous phase of her life. So curious about the sequal to JANE she started but never finished!
- Breaking down in front of his former congregations! Always seeking out new doctors but never telling them the full story! Giving medicine-induced speeches in the middle of the night! This second read through, I think I feel even more compassion for him than I did the first time. And more sadness over their very difficult marriage.
- Losing two years of college, having an affair. What a mess! And how was Maud, who seethed over both circumstances, able to make excuses for his infidelity?
- It was interesting to read that though all her life Maud was guarded about her own and Ewan’s mental health, it was perfectly normal to explain in a fan letter that she’d recently experienced a “nervous breakdown.” Surely this emotional state was an acceptable thing to discuss, while full-blown depression and Ewan’s religious melancholia weren’t. Times have changed somewhat, haven’t they?
- While we’re at it, here’s a definition for neurasthenia, which Maud often used to describe her condition: a virtually obsolete term formerly used to describe a vague disorder marked by chronic abnormal fatigability, moderate depression, inability to concentrate, loss of appetite, insomnia, and other symptoms. Popularly called nervous prostration.
- Oh, Maud, you had a hard time communicating with those who worked in your home. I wonder if you ever felt remorse over all the ugly endings?
- Volume V marked twenty years of the death of Maud’s cousin and best friend, Frede Campbell. I can’t help wondering how their friendship might have grown and/or changed if she had lived. Anyone else with thoughts on this?
The bleak nature of this final volume
- I thought it important to echo something mentioned in the introduction to Volume V:
It is also salutary to moderate the darkness of the journals by returning to the gentler version of life in the novels — as much an indicator of Montgomery’s vision of the world as is the darker view in the journals.
Have any of you re-read Maud’s novels while reading the journals? I re-read EMILY OF NEW MOON during Volume III and plan on finishing the series later this year. I’d also like to re-read KILMENY OF THE ORCHARD, BLUE CASTLE, and JANE OF LANTERN HILL. Maybe the Pat books, too, since Maud claimed she was most like Pat of all her characters (I can certainly see that).
A query on journaling
- This is something I’ve pondered since starting this discussion. I can’t say I’m any closer to answer. Is it possible to truly journal a life? What do you think?
When dreariness and fear threaten to overwhelm me I shall remember this letter and say to myself, “Take heart my child. As long as you can bring a little delight or comfort into the lives of others life is worth living. And there are countless lives waiting for you yet in the years of eternity and in the stars yet unborn.”
As one of those “stars yet unborn” when this was written, I thank you, Maud, for the delight and comfort you’ve given me.