Posted by: Lizzie Ross | March 26, 2010

Classic Friday: Anne of Green Gables

To switch things up a bit, I’ll focus on classics each Friday, starting with a few series. First off:

Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery, 8 volumes about Anne (the last four about her married life and family), published 1908-1939.

Carrot-colored hair. Quick temper. Orphaned, lonely, a chatterbox with a vivid imagination that often runs amok. Anne Shirley is adopted by an elderly sister and brother, and charms the world around her (except, of course, for those pesky Pyes). Set in Canada’s Prince Edward Island, these novels show us an idyllic agrarian world, where the main concerns seem to be gossip and growing up. A few years ago I worked backwards from events in later novels and approximated Anne’s birth year as 1868, so we meet her as the world moves into the 1880s (the time of another critical series, about a girl named Laura) and follow Anne’s life through the end of WWI.

My favorite volumes: Anne of Green Gables, where we meet Anne and the others in her world, and where PEI itself is an important character, feeding Anne’s love for beauty and nature. Then Anne’s House of Dreams, about the first years of her married life, where romance and moonlight and the ocean shore combine in surprising ways. Finally, Rilla of Ingleside, about Anne’s youngest daughter, but even more about PEI during WWI.

Each book in this series is full of children getting into scrapes (Anne, or the children she teaches, or her own children) and learning about life. Love for poetry and literature, for nature at every season, and for PEI comes through nearly every page; it’s a wonder no one has yet created an annotated Anne.

I think I was in 5th grade when I first read these books, and every three or four years since then I reread the series. The film versions don’t do Anne justice, so pick up the books and enjoy.

Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside.



  1. […] In fact, I’ve already posted about nearly all the books to which I return on a regular basis: Le Guin’s Earthsea series, Benson’s Lucia books, Eager’s odd-ball magical world, Montgomery’s famous red-headed girl. […]

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