Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables  
Montgomery Anne of Green Gables.jpg
Anne of Green Gables first edition cover.
Author(s) Lucy Maud Montgomery
Illustrator M. A. and W. A. J. Claus
Country USA[1][2]
Language English
Series Anne of Green Gables
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher L. C. Page & Co.
Publication date June 1908
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 429 pp (first edition)
Followed by Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Green Gables is a bestselling novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery published in 1908. Set in 1878, it was written as fiction for readers of all ages, but in recent decades has been considered a children's book. Montgomery found her inspiration for the book on an old piece of paper that she had written at a young age, describing a couple that were mistakenly sent an orphan girl instead of a boy, yet decided to keep her. Montgomery also drew upon her own childhood experiences in rural Prince Edward Island. Montgomery used a photograph of Evelyn Nesbit, which she had clipped from New York’s Metropolitan Magazine, and pasted the framed clipping on the wall of her bedroom, as the model for the face of Anne Shirley, the book's main character.[3]

Montgomery also found inspiration in the "formula Ann" orphan stories, the Anns without the e. Other characters, like Gilbert Blythe, were modelled, in part, on real-life characters. Montgomery wrote the novel in the twilight of the day, sitting at her window and overlooking the fields of Cavendish.[4]

Since publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million copies.[5] In addition, this book is taught to students around the world.


Plot summary

Anne, a young orphan from Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia, finds herself on P.E.I., after shuttles between families and even the orphanage. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their fifties who live together at Green Gables, their Avonlea farmhouse on Prince Edward Island, decide to adopt a boy from the orphan asylum in Nova Scotia to help Matthew run their farm. Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne Shirley.

Anne is bright and quick, eager to please and talkative, and extremely imaginative. She does not see herself as beautiful, but is interesting-looking, with a pale countenance dotted with freckles, and long braids of red hair. When asked her name, Anne asks Marilla to call her Cordelia, which Marilla refuses; Anne then insists that if you are to call her Anne, it must be spelled with an e, as that spelling is "so much more distinguished." Marilla insists that the girl will have to go back to the orphanage, but after a few days, she decides that Anne may stay.

Being a child of imagination, Anne takes much joy in life, and adapts quickly, thriving in the close-knit farming village. She is something of a chatterbox, which initially drives the prim, duty-driven Marilla to distraction, although shy Matthew falls for her immediately; they are what Anne calls 'kindred spirits'.

The rest of the book recounts Anne's adventures in the country school, where she quickly excels in her studies; her friendship with Diana Barry (her best or "bosom friend" as Anne fondly calls her); her budding literary ambitions; and her rivalry with classmate Gilbert Blythe, who on her first day in school teased her about her red hair and for that earned her instant, ongoing hatred, although he apologizes many times. Anne and Gilbert compete in class and Anne one day realizes she no longer hates Gilbert, but cannot bring herself to admit it; at the end of the book, they finally become friends.

The book also follows Anne's misadventures in quiet, old-fashioned Avonlea. These episodes include imaginative play time with her friends (Diana, Jane Andrews and Ruby Gillis), her run-ins with the unpleasant Pye sisters (Gertie and Josie), and domestic mishaps such as dyeing her hair green (intending to dye it black) or accidentally getting Diana drunk (by giving her what she thinks is raspberry cordial but is in fact currant wine).

At sixteen, Anne goes to Queen's Academy to earn a teaching license, along with Gilbert, Ruby, Josie, Jane and several other students. She obtains her licence in one year instead of the usual two and also wins the Avery Scholarship for the top student in English, which would allow her to pursue a B.A. at Redmond College on the mainland in Nova Scotia.

Near the end of the book, Matthew dies of a heart attack after learning that all of his and Marilla's money has been lost in a bank failure. Anne, out of devotion to Marilla and Green Gables, gives up the Avery Scholarship to stay at home and help Marilla, whose eyesight is diminishing. She plans to teach at the Carmody school, the nearest school available, and return to Green Gables on weekends. In an act of friendship, Gilbert Blythe gives up his teaching position at the Avonlea school to work at White Sands School instead, thus enabling Anne to teach in Avonlea and stay at Green Gables all through the week. After this kind act, Anne and Gilbert's friendship is cemented, and Anne contentedly looks forward to the next "bend in the road."


Anne Shirley - An imaginative, red-headed orphan who comes to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, unmarried siblings.

Marilla Cuthbert - An austere, repressed woman who tries in vain to repress Anne's imaginative, unusual ways. Though she is rigidly conservative in her rules, she does love Anne and has the glimmerings of a sense of humor and a secret soft side.

Matthew Cuthbert - Marilla's brother, a shy, awkward man who takes a liking to Anne from the start. The two become fast friends. He is far less talkative than Anne, but is a very good listener. Because Marilla is the one raising Anne, he feels no qualms about "spoiling" her and indulging her in things which Marilla considers too frivolous, such as pretty clothes.

Diana Barry - Anne's bosom friend and kindred spirit. Anne and Diana become best friends from the moment they meet. She is the only girl of Anne's age who lives close to Green Gables. Anne admires Diana for being pretty and for her merry, amiable disposition. Diana lacks Anne's powerful imagination but is a loyal friend.

Gilbert Blythe - A handsome classmate who first tried to get Anne's attention by pulling her hair and flirtatiously calling her "Carrots" (unaware of her sensitivity about her red hair). Furious, Anne broke her slate over his head and refused to have anything to do with him for the next few years. Even though Gilbert repeatedly apologized and displayed admiration for her throughout the book, Anne coldly rebuffed him. However, Gilbert never abandoned his quest for her friendship (and eventually, love). Anne finally forgave him at the end of the book when he gave up the Avonlea school for her so that she could live at Green Gables with Marilla.

Mrs. Rachel Lynde - A neighbour of Matthew and Marilla, and the nosiest person in town but generally understood to be unmalicious and well-intentioned. Although she did not take a liking to Anne in the beginning, she soon warms to the freckle-faced orphan. She is incredibly industrious and helpful, and loves doing work for the church. She is married and has raised ten children, but her husband, Thomas Lynde, is only mentioned on a few brief occasions, and never speaks. Mrs Lynde gave Anne her first brown gloria pretty dress via Matthew.

Miss Muriel Stacy - Anne's imaginative, energetic new teacher. Miss Stacy's warm, sympathetic nature captures the hearts of her students but is at first disapproved of among Avonlea parents for her liberal, open-minded teaching methods. She forms a special relationship with Anne, who adores her and views her as a mentor. Miss Stacy encourages Anne to develop her intellect and character and helps prepare her for the entrance exam at Queen's College, where she come joint first with Gilbert Blythe.

Josie Pye - One of Anne's classmates, who is generally disliked by the other girls (just like all other Pyes). Josie is vain, dishonest and jealous of Anne's popularity. Anne tries not to feel "uncharitably" towards Josie but cannot bring herself to like her.

Jane Andrews - One of Anne's friends from school, although Diana remains her closest friend. Jane is plain and sensible but does well enough in school, seeing as she joins Anne's class at Queen's.

Ruby Gillis - Another one of Anne's friends. Having several "grown up" sisters, Ruby loves to share her knowledge of beaus with her friends. Ruby is portrayed as traditionally beautiful with long, golden hair and loves talking about boys.

Reverend and Mrs. Allan - The minister and his wife, two friends for Anne. Mrs. Allan becomes one of Anne's best friends.

Minnie May Barry - Diana's baby sister, whose life is saved by Anne when she comes down with croup.

Mr. & Mrs. Barry - Diana's parents. Mr. Barry also farms, and offers to rent some tracts near the end to help out Anne and Marilla. Mrs. Barry has a severe, stubborn personality, expecting her children to follow strict and sometimes unreasonable rules. After Anne accidentally gets Diana drunk, Mrs. Barry refuses to let Anne speak to Diana until Anne redeems herself by saving Minnie May.

Miss Josephine Barry - Diana's aunt. Initially a malevolent character, but is charmed by Anne's imagination, and eventually invites her out to tea, and sends her a very expensive Christmas present. They meet in the first book, "Anne of Green Gables" when she was visiting the Barrys.

Mr. Phillips - Anne's first teacher at Avonlea, whom she despises (he spelled Anne's name without an 'E', among other things). She actually refuses to attend school for a long time, after Mr. Phillips humiliated her by punishing her and only her when a dozen pupils arrive late, and by making her sit with Gilbert Blythe. Mr. Philips is not a competent teacher, as Mrs. Lynde admits. He has no discipline, and is courting one of his pupils, Prissy Andrews.


Montgomery continued the story of Anne Shirley in a series of sequels, and they are listed in the order of Anne's age in each of the novels.

Lucy Maud Montgomery's books on Anne Shirley
# Book Date published Anne Shirley's age
1 Anne of Green Gables 1908 11—16
2 Anne of Avonlea 1909 16—18
3 Anne of the Island 1915 18—22
4 Anne of Windy Poplars (US&Canada)
Anne of Windy Willows (Other)
1936 22—25
5 Anne's House of Dreams 1917 25—27
6 Anne of Ingleside 1939 34—40
7 Rainbow Valley 1919 41
8 Rilla of Ingleside 1921 49—53
9 The Blythes Are Quoted 2009 (Completed shortly before Montgomery's death in 1942)
Related books in which Anne Shirley plays a lesser part
# Book Date published Anne Shirley's age
Chronicles of Avonlea 1912
Further Chronicles of Avonlea 1920


The prequel of Anne of Green Gables was written by Budge Wilson, with authorization of heirs of L. M. Montgomery.

Budge Wilson's books on Anne Shirley
# Book Date published Anne Shirley's age
Before Green Gables 2008 0—11


The history of Anne of Green Gables was written by Irene Gammel, with authorization of heirs of L. M. Montgomery.

Irene Gammel's books on Anne Shirley
# Book Date published Anne Shirley's age
Looking for Anne of Green Gables: The Story of L.M. Montgomery and her Literary Classic 2008 0—40


The Green Gables farmhouse located in Cavendish
Sign marking trail through Balsam Hollow

The Green Gables farmhouse from which Montgomery drew her inspiration is located in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. Many tourist attractions on Prince Edward Island have been developed based on Anne, and provincial licence plates once bore her image.

Balsam Hollow and the forest that inspired the Haunted Woods described in the book are also located in the vicinity.[6] Each summer, the musicals Anne of Green Gables and Anne & Gilbert are performed at theatres in Prince Edward Island.

The popularity of Anne has extended into many countries and Anne of Green Gables has been translated into 36 languages.[7][8] Tourism by Anne fans is an important part of the Island economy.[9] The novel is very popular in Japan,[10][11] where it has been on the school curriculum since 1952 and Anne is revered as "an icon."[12] Many Japanese couples have wedding ceremonies on the grounds of the Green Gables farm and some girls arrive with red-dyed hair and pigtails, to look like Anne.[13]

Places that offer photo opportunities to dress as "Anne of Green Gables" characters include the Avonlea theme park near Cavendish and the Cavendish Figurines shop at the Confederation Bridge that connects New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island.[14] The Cavendish photo booth has a wall of fame with hundreds of women and even a few men dressed as the storybook character. [15]

Bala's Museum With Memories Of Lucy Maud Montgomery located in Bala, Ontario, Canada, is dedicated to Montgomery information and heritage, located in the former home of Fanny Pike where Montgomery and her family stayed for a vacation in 1922. She based her novel The Blue Castle on the region, changing the town's name to Deerwood, the only book she wrote not to be set in Atlantic Canada.

In 2008 Canada Post issued two postage stamps and a souvenir sheet honoring Anne and the "Green Gables" house.

Panorama of Green Gable farmhouse


Souvenir shops throughout Prince Edward Island offer numerous foods and products inspired by the Anne Shirley novels. Straw hats with sewn-in red braids are commonplace as are bottles of Raspberry Cordial soda.[16] In the first book, Lucy Maud Montgomery established the cordial as the official beverage of Anne, who enthusiastically declared: "I just love bright red drinks!"



Television movies

  • 1956: Anne of Green Gables - made for television, this version directed by Don Harron starred Toby Tarnow as Anne.
  • 1972: Anne of Green Gables - a made for television 5-part mini-series, this British version was directed by Joan Craft with Kim Braden in the role of Anne.
  • 1975: Anne of Avonlea - a made for television 4-part mini-series, this British version was directed by Joan Craft with Kim Braden in the role of Anne.
  • 1985: Anne of Green Gables - a made for television (CBC) 4 hour television mini series, it was directed by Kevin Sullivan with Megan Follows as Anne.
  • 1987: Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, a sequel to the 1985 miniseries which aired on the Disney Channel as Anne of Avonlea: The Continuing Story of Anne of Green Gables.
  • 2000: Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story was a television miniseries whose script was very loosely based upon the novels.
  • 2009: Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning is a television miniseries whose script is not based upon the novels.[17]

Television series

Anne as she appeared in the 1979 Japanese anime adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.
Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series
  • 1979: Akage no An ("Red-Haired Anne") - an animated television series, part of Nippon Animation's World Masterpiece Theater, produced in Japan in 1979, directed by Isao Takahata.
  • 1990 - 1996: Road to Avonlea - a live action television show produced by Kevin Sullivan based upon characters and episodes from several of L.M. Montgomery's books. Anne herself did not appear in the TV series, but Gilbert Blythe, Marilla Cuthbert, and other characters from the Anne books are included. Shown on The Disney Channel in the U.S. under the title Avonlea.
  • 2000: Anne: The Animated Series - a PBS animated series for preschoolers airing on PBS, created by Sullivan Entertainment Inc..
  • 2009: Kon'nichiwa Anne 〜 Before Green Gables - part of the World Masterpiece Theater.


The Nine Lives of L.M. Montgomery, a musical based the life of Anne of Green Gables author L.M. Montgomery, opened at Kings Playhouse in Georgetown, Prince Edward Island on June 20, 2008, the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne. With book and lyrics by Adam-Michael James and music by Emmy-nominated composer Leo Marchildon, the musical depicts events from Montgomery’s real life and materializes heroines from all of her novels; in the show, Anne figures prominently, first appearing at age 12 and growing up into her 40s. Gilbert Blythe also appears. The show’s second production was at the Carrefour Theatre in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and opened July 11, 2009. Both years, the musical was nominated for The Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation's Wendell Boyle Award. In July 2010, a concert version of the show toured Prince Edward Island, with 4 performances at Green Gables.[18]

The Confederation Centre of the Arts' annual "Charlottetown Festival" headlines Canada's longest-running main stage musical production Anne of Green Gables - The Musical. This show has run every summer since the Centre opened in 1964 has played to over 2 million viewers. Anne of Green Gables - The Musical was composed by Canadian theatrical legends Don Harron and Norman Campbell, with lyrics by Elaine Campbell and Mavor Moore. The production has been performed before Queen Elizabeth II and has also toured across Canada, the United States, and Europe. Festival Artistic Director Walter Learning directed and organized a successful national tour of Japan in 1991. The musical also had a run in London's West End in 1969.

The Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, hosts Anne and Gilbert, The Musical. Written by Nancy White, Bob Johnston and Jeff Hochhauser, the production is based on Montgomery's sequel novels to Anne of Green Gables.

Theatreworks USA, a New York based children's theatre company, is currently casting their Anne of Green Gables musical, which premiered at the Lortel Theatre in 2006. The production will tour grade-schools, and features musical contributions from Gretchen Cryer.

The Peterborough Players, based in Peterborough, New Hampshire, staged an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables in August 2009 adapted by Joseph Robinette.[19]


As one of the most famous characters in Canadian literature, Anne of Green Gables has been parodied by several Canadian comedy troupes, including CODCO (Anne of Green Gut) and The Frantics (Fran of the Fundy[disambiguation needed ]). Megan Follows also appeared on Made in Canada as Mandy Forward, the star of Pyramid Prodigy Productions' Adele of Beaver Creek series who discovered that the company was secretly producing an Adele of Beaver Creek porn knockoff.

In response to massive funding cuts to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation during the later tenure of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, the Vancouver-based political satire duo Double Exposure noted the effects of the budget cuts on CBC Television productions were so severe that several prominent fictional Canadian characters were being sent out to raise funds independently. There followed the sound of a doorbell, and the words: "([ding-dong]) Anne of Avon calling!"


  1. ^ Devereux, Cecily Margaret (2004), A Note on the Text, In Montgomery (2004), p.42, 
  2. ^ Montgomery, Lucy Maud (2004) [1908], Devereux, Cecily Margaret, ed., Anne of Green Gables, Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, ISBN 1-55111-362-7 
  3. ^, Irene Gammel, looking for Anne of Green Gables: The Story of L.M. Montgomery and her Literary Classic (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2009).
  4. ^ Irene Gammel, "The Mystery of Anne Revealed," Looking for Anne of Green Gables.
  5. ^ on Anne of Green Gables: ""Anne of Green Gables" has sold more than 50 million copies and been translated into 20 languages, according to Penguin." (19 March 2008)
  6. ^ Green Gables Government of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved on July 24, 2006
  7. ^ Anne of Green Gables - Celebrate 100 Years
    "Anne of Green Gables has sold millions of copies in more than 36 languages"
  8. ^ USA Today (August 5, 2008) "'Anne of Green Gables' still rules Prince Edward Island.
  9. ^ CBC News (June 19, 2008)., 100 years of Anne of Green Gables.
  10. ^ Yuka Kajihara (2004-04-04). "Anne in Japan FAQ 1.0". Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  11. ^ Buttercups L.M. Montgomery & Anne of Green Gables fan club in Japan
  12. ^ Morris, C. (May 11, 2008). "P.E.I. honours Anne's 100th". Canadian Press.
  13. ^ Bruni, Frank (November 18, 2007). Beckoned by Bivalves. The New York Times.
  14. ^ Sun 10 Oct '10. ""Cloning Anne of Green Gables."". Tacky Tourist Photos. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  15. ^ ""For $2, be 'Anne of Green Gables'"". Boston Herald. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  16. ^ "The Heroine's Bookshelf: Anne of Green Gables". 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  17. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  18. ^ For more information visit: []
  19. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-06-06. 

Further reading

External links

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