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Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables is a book by Canadian 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 Island. Montgomery used a photograph of Evelyn Nesbit, clipped from an American magazine and pasted on the wall above her writing desk, as the model for Anne Shirley, the book's main character.

Plot summary

Marilla Cuthbert and Matthew Cuthbert, middle-aged siblings who live together at Green Gables, a farm in Avonlea, on Prince Edward Island, decide to adopt a boy from an orphan asylum in Nova Scotia 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 but dissatisfied with her name, her pale countenance dotted with freckles, and with her long braids of red hair. Being a child of imagination, however, Anne takes much joy in life, and adapts quickly, thriving in the environment of Prince Edward Island.

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. They compete in class and Anne one day realizes she no longer hates Gilbert, but will not admit it. 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 a couple of others, 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 fully forgives Gilbert and they become best friends.

Sequels

Montgomery continued the story of Anne Shirley in a series of sequels. 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
 
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

Prequel

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

Tourism

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

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. Tourism from Anne fans is an important part of the Island economy. The novel is very popular in Japan, and Anne is an icon there. 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 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.

Adaptations

Film

Television movies

Television series

Stage

The Confederation Centre of the Arts' annual "Charlottetown Festival" headlines Canada's longest-running mainstage musical production Anne of Green Gables - The Musical. This show having 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 Canada, the United States, Europe. Festival Artistic Director Walter Learning directed and organized a massively 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.

Parodies

As one of the most famous characters in Canadian literature, Anne of Green Gables has been parodied by several Canadian comedy troupes, including CODCO's (Anne of Green Gut) and The Frantics (Fran of the Fundy) which featured PEI's neighbouring province of New Brunswick jealously peddling Fran as their own little made-up heroine. 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!"

References

External links

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