The fifth volume

So a friend sent me this link about L.M. Montgomery's death/suicide this morning.

Now, some say this is big news, others, not so much. Personally, there's no surprise here for me. I worked at the Green Gables House in PEI for 4 years. And while that was some time ago, rumblings about the way madam Montomery died were present even then.

Especially since the much-anticipated "fifth volume" was to be released around that time.

It might not come as much of a surprise, but Montgomery was an avid journal-keeper. She started her first one around the age of 15, and kept going up until her death. Right around the time she got famous with the Anne books, she started to re-write/re-pen the early journals because she knew people would want to read them someday. Maybe that was incredible foresight, maybe it was cocky. Either way, that's what she did.

So the first four volumes were edited to a degree (mostly to whittle down some of the content, she was a prolific writer, after all) and released. But the fifth volume ... there were significant delays with that one. Those of us "in the know" heard that the editors were having issues with it because near the end of her life, and the journals, her writing became quite dark. The official word was that Montgomery died of "natural causes" (that's what we were told to say - so we did) but there was always this niggling truth out there, that we didn't really know HOW she died.

So now we have THE TRUTH. But here's the thing. The information came out in an essay in the Globe and Mail. I don't know WHY that bothers me the way it does. But it just seems WEIRD. That the way the estate is telling people was through an essay. In the Globe.

Maybe I'm just bitter because it wasn't a CBC story. But I don't think that's the case. The granddaughter said she wrote the essay because she was inspired by a series about depression written in the Globe. Maybe I expected the truth to come out in a more gradual way, rather than a one-paper exclusive.

But what do I know, I'm probably just a jealous reporter.


Danielle Sharkey September 22, 2008 at 4:55 PM  

That's kinda weird, just putting it in the paper like that.
Now all the tourists are going to ask the same stupid question every time they visit. Sigh. I would hate for my life to be so... open like that.