Anne of Green Gables

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Anne of Green Gables is a bestselling novel 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, 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 books.[5] In addition, this book is taught to students around the world.

Contents

Plot summary

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, brother and sister who live together at Green Gables, a farm in Avonlea on Prince Edward Island in Canada, 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 and talkative, and extremely imaginative. She is not beautiful, but is interesting-looking, with a pale countenance dotted with freckles, and long braids of red hair. She would really like to be called Cordelia; but she insists that if you are to call her Anne, it must be spelt with an 'E', as that spelling 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, which initially drives the prim, duty-driven Marilla to distraction, although shy Matthew falls for her immediately.

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