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Anne of Green Gables is a bestselling novel by Canadianmarker author Lucy Maud Montgomery published in 1908. 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 Islandmarker. Montgomery used a photograph of Evelyn Nesbit, 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.

Montgomery also found inspiration in the "formula Ann" orphan stories, the Anns without the e. Other characters, like Gilbert Blythe, were modeled, 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.Since publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million books. In addition, this book is taught to students around the world.

Plot summary

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, unmarried middle-aged siblings who live together at Green Gables, a farm in the town of Avonlea, on Prince Edward Islandmarker, decide to adopt a boy from an orphan asylum in Nova Scotiamarker as a helper on their farm. Through a series of mishaps, the person who ends up under their roof is a precocious girl of eleven named Anne Shirley. Anne is bright and quick, eager to please and talkative, but dissatisfied with her name, her pale countenance dotted with freckles, and with her long braids of red hair. Although wishing she was named Cordelia, she insists that if you are to call her Anne, it must be spelt with an 'E', as it is "so much more distinguished." Being a child of imagination, however, Anne takes much joy in life, and adapts quickly, thriving in the environment of Prince Edward Island. She is something of a chatterbox, and drives the prim, duty-driven Marilla to distraction, although shy Matthew falls for her immediately.

The rest of the book recounts her continued education at school, where she excels in studies very quickly, her budding literary ambitions and her friendships with people such as Diana Barry (her best friend, "bosom friend" as Anne fondly calls her), Jane Andrews, Ruby Gillis, and her rivalry with Gilbert Blythe, who teases her about her red hair and for that acquires her hatred, although he apologizes many times. Anne and Gilbert compete in class and Anne one day realizes she no longer hates Gilbert, but will not admit it; at the end of the book, they both become very good friends.

The book also follows her misadventures in quiet, old-fashioned Avonlea. These adventures include her games with her friendship group (Diana, Jane and Ruby), her rivalries with the Pye sisters (Gertie and Josie) and her domestic mistakes such as dyeing her hair green. Anne, along with Gilbert, Ruby, Josie, Jane and several other students, eventually goes to the Queen's Academy and obtains a teaching license in one year, in addition to winning the Avery Prize in English, which allows her to pursue a B.A. at Redmond College.

The book ends with Matthew's death, caused by a heart attack after learning of the loss of all his and Marilla's money. Anne shows her devotion to Marilla and Green Gables by giving up the Avery Prize, deciding to stay at home and help Marilla, whose eyesight is diminishing, and teaching at the Carmody school, the nearest school available. To show his friendship, Gilbert Blythe gives up his teaching position in the Avonlea School to work at White Sands School instead, thus enabling Anne to teach at the Avonlea School and stay at Green Gables all through the week. After this kind act, Anne and Gilbert become friends.


Anne Shirley - An imaginative, red-headed orphan who comes to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, middle-aged sister and brother.

Marilla Cuthbert - A crisp, practical, no-nonsense woman who doesn't approve of Anne's wild imagination although she does grow to love the orphan. Her sense of humor develops greatly upon Anne's arrival and Mrs. Lynde states that she became "mellow".

Matthew Cuthbert - Marilla's brother, a shy, awkward man who takes a liking to Anne from the start. The two become fast friends but he dies in the end.

Diana Barry - A bosom friend of Anne, Anne's kindred spirit. Anne and Diana become best friends from the moment they meet. She is the only little girl who lives close to Green Gables. While Anne does not think Diana is very imaginative, Diana is noted for being pretty, merry and very amiable.

Gilbert Blythe - Anne's enemy from the beginning for pulling her hair and calling her "Carrots". Even though Gilbert apologizes shortly after the incident, Anne remains scornful toward him for a few years. Anne forgives Gilbert by the end of the book and the two become friends - and eventually marry (an event which takes place a few books later in the Anne series).

Rachel Lynde - A neighbor of Matthew and Marilla and the nosiest person in town. Although she did not take a liking to Anne in the beginning, she soon warms to the freckled faced orphan. She is incredibly industrious, helpful and loves doing work for the church.

Miss Stacy - Anne's new teacher. Miss Stacy is truly a mentor to Anne. Miss Stacy worked hard to be accepted by Avonlea, as her teaching methods were new, and she was a "woman teacher."

Josie Pye - Anne's sometimes friend, sometimes rival, and classmate. She is vain and generally disliked by the girls of Avonlea. Her younger sister is Gertie Pye.

Jane Andrews - One of Anne's friends whom she is very fond of, although Diana remains her closest friend. Jane is described as rather staid, plain and with very little imagination.

Ruby Gillis - Another one of Anne's friends. Ruby is flirtatious and always discusses beaux. Ruby loves getting the attention of the boys.

Reverend and Mrs. Allen - The minister and his wife, two friends for Anne. Mrs. Allen becomes Anne's hero.

Mr. Philips - Anne's first teacher, whom she despised (he spelt Anne's name without an 'E', among other things).


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


Sign marking trail through Balsam Hollow

The Green Gablesmarker farmhouse from which Montgomery drew her inspiration is located in Cavendish, Prince Edward Islandmarker. Many tourist attractions on Prince Edward Islandmarker have been developed based on Anne, and provincial license 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. 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. Anne of Green Gables - Celebrate 100 Years

"Anne of Green Gables has sold millions of copies in more than 36 languages"Tourism by Anne fans is an important part of the Island economy.The novel is very popular in Japanmarker, where it has been on the school curriculum since 1952 and Anne is revered as "an icon." 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.

Bala's Museum With Memories Of Lucy Maud Montgomerymarker located in Bala, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker, 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 Canadamarker.

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



Television movies

Television series

Anne as she appeared in the 1979 Japanese anime adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.
Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series


Opening the summer of 2008, Adam-Michael James' The Nine Lives of L.M. Montgomery was set in Georgetown, PEI staged at the Kings Playhouse. This musical is based upon Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of the popular Anne of Green Gables. It depicts true events that happened in L.M. Montgomery's life and ties them in with her fictional world of Anne and Gilbert. Emmy-nominated composer Leo Marchildon composed this work with precision. The production was nominated for the PEI museum and Heritage Foundation's Wendell Boyle's award. It is set to take its second run on the 11th of July 2009 at the Carrefour Isle-de-Saint-Jean theater in Charlottetown, PEI this summer. (For more information visit:

The Confederation Centre of the Artsmarker' 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 played to Queen Elizabeth II and has also toured across Canadamarker, the United Statesmarker, and Europe. Festival Artistic Director Walter Learning directed and organized a successful national tour of Japanmarker in 1991. The musical also had a run in London's West Endmarker 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 Hampshiremarker, staged an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables in August 2009 adapted by Joseph Robinette .


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). 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!"


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