The Wheel of Things
A Biography of Lucy Maud Montgomery
Lucy Maud Montgomery is Canada’s best-known writer of children’s fiction. Anne of Green Gables — in
print, film, television or on stage — captures people’s imaginations as easily now as it did when it burst upon the
world in 1908.
Lucy Maud Montgomery grew up on Prince Edward Island and she set her best-loved stories there. She worked briefly
as a journalist, but family responsibilities shaped her life as a young single woman. At 36 she married a dour, often
depressive Presbyterian minister and moved to Ontario.There she lived a life of contradictions—in private, the
romantic, successful imaginative writer; in public the strict, dutiful minister’s wife.
Using diaries and letters Lucy Maud never intended to be made public, The Wheel of Things is a pioneering
biography of one of Canada’s most successful and important writers. Since its publication, the release of
Montgomery’s diaries and other work by scholarly writers have confirmed the life story that Mollie Gillen tells so
well in this important and path-breaking biography.
Mollie Gillen (née Woolnough; 1908–2009) was an Australian historian, researcher, writer and novelist. Her work on the First Fleet, in The search for John Small, First Fleeter and The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, explored the idea that many of the founding families of Australia were descended from the convict population, rather than those sent to guard them. Gillen's article Maud Montgomery: The Girl Who Wrote Green Gables instigated a new era in scholarship on Lucy Maud Montgomery.