Lucy Maud Montgomery spent 9 years (1926-1935) of her life in Norval together with her husband, the reverend at the local church.
Lucy Maud Montgomery was very active in Norval’s social life. She taught at the Sunday School and was a member of the Norval Choral Society, and Norval Women’s Institute. She directed and appeared in plays at St. Paul’s Anglican Church and the parish hall.
While in Norval, Montgomery published The Blue Castle, Emily’s Quest, Magic for Marigold, A Tangled Web, Pat of Silver Bush, Mistress Pat, and Courageous Women (by L.M. Montgomery with Marian Keith and M.B. McKinley)
“I love Norval as I have never loved any place save Cavendish. It is as if I had known it all my life.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery in her diary
Buses of Japanese tourists come to Norval every summer to see the manse, the church and the gardens.
Fervent fans formed a group called L.M. Montgomery Norval that organizes annual events such as Montgomery Christmas, Montgomery Festival (summer), and has rebuilt the Montgomery garden on Hwy. 7 in Norval.
Anne of Green Gables – the book
- After six rejections, Lucy Maud Montgomery finally had her novel published in 1908. It was a bestseller. The book has been translated into 20 languages.
- The author rewrote her own past and the childhood she longed for in the adventures of the feisty Anne character.
- Montgomery dreaded writing the sequel Anne of Avonlea. She said, “I’m awfully afraid if the thing takes, they’ll want me to write her through college. The idea makes me sick. I feel like the magician in the Eastern story who became the slave of the ‘jinn’ he had conjured out of a bottle.”
- Anne of Green Gables has a huge following in Japan and is part of the curriculum in many schools.
- The “School of Green Gables” in Okayma, Japan instils Anne-inspired qualities in its students. Anne was a hero of the Polish resistance. During WWII, copies of Anne of Green Gables were distributed to resistance fighters to remind them of the values they were fighting for loyalty, family, selflessness.
Lucy M. Montgomery Norval museum project
The L.M. Montgomery Heritage Society in Halton Hills purchased the manse where the Montgomery once lived, to build a museum and a literary center commemorating the famous writer.
Members of Globe and the Montgomery Norval group participated in a promotional video to raise awareness for the Norval manse project. Here are photos from that day.
Anne of Green Gables – the musical
Lucy M. Montgomery staged a number of works with her Union Dramatic Players during her residency, but it was at the Glen Williams Town Hall.
In 2015, Georgetown’s award-winning musical theatre Globe Productions presented Montgomerry’s Anne of Green Gables – The Musical. Montgomery’s own granddaughter, Kate MacDonald Butler opened the show and LOVED IT!
- The musical was first staged in 1965 as part of the inaugural Charlottetown Festival.
- A song from the musical was part of the feature performance at the opening of the Confederation Centre of the Arts on October 6, 1964. Queen Elizabeth II was in the audience.
- It was Don Harron who gave Norman and Elaine Campbell the book Anne of Green Gables, suggesting that it would make a great musical.
- In March 2014, the production was officially recognized as the longest running annual musical theatre production in the world by Guinness World Records.
- Globe’s director David Ambrose directed the 1994 production of Anne with an extended run and sold out shows!
- Globe’s music director Darryl Burton directed Anne in 2002 for the Meadowvale Music Theatre.