Anne of Green Gables
About the Author
Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)
Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Canada in 1874. Her mother died when she was just twenty-one months old. Her father left her to be raised by her mother’s parents and eventually remarried and moved to another area of Canada.
In 1905, she wrote her first and most famous novel, Anne of Green Gables. She sent the manuscript to several publishers, but, after receiving rejections from all of them, she put it away in a hat box. In 1907, she found the manuscript again, re-read it, and decided to try again to have it published. Anne of Green Gables was accepted by the Page Company of Boston, Massachusetts and published in 1908. An immediate best-seller, the book marked the beginning of Montgomery's successful career as a novelist.
In 1898, while Montgomery was teaching in Lower Bedeque, her Grandfather Macneill died suddenly. She returned to Cavendish immediately to take care of her grandmother who otherwise would have had to leave her home. She remained with her grandmother for the next thirteen years, with the exception of a nine-month period in 1901-1902 when she worked as a proof-reader for The Daily Echo in Halifax. After Grandmother Macneill died in March of 1911, Montgomery married the Reverend Ewan Macdonald, to whom she had been secretly engaged since 1906, on July 5, 1911.
After their marriage, Montgomery and Macdonald moved to Leaskdale, Ontario, where Macdonald was minister in the Presbyterian church. She had three sons: Chester (1912), Hugh (stillborn in 1914), and Stuart (1915); assisted her husband in his pastoral duties; ran their home; and continued to write best-selling novels as well as short stories and poems. She faithfully recorded entries in her journals and kept up an enormous correspondence with friends, family, and fans. Maud Montgomery Macdonald did not live on Prince Edward Island again, returning only for vacations.
Maud Montgomery Macdonald died in Toronto, Ontario, on April 24, 1942; Ewan Macdonald died in November 1943. In death, Montgomery returned to her beloved Prince Edward Island, where she was buried in the Cavendish cemetery, close to the site of her old home.
Anne of Green Gables (1908)
Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Written for all ages, it has been considered a children's novel since the mid-twentieth century. It recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who had intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in Prince Edward Island. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.
Questions for Anne of Green Gables
What characteristics does Anne share with Marilla? With Matthew? Do you think she learned to emulate them because of how she was raised, or are their similarities a happy coincidence?
Marilla gives several reasons for finally deciding to keep Anne. What reason do you think most changed her mind?
If Anne grew up today, would she have been happier with how she looked? What would she have pined for, looks- and fashion-wise? What is your society's equivalent of plumpness, dark hair, and puffed sleeves?
Anne is a remarkably compassionate child and is able to forgive even those who have judged her unfairly, such as Mrs. Rachel Lynde or Mrs. Barry. Why, then, do you think she holds such a grudge against Gilbert Blythe?
What influence do you think Anne had on Diana's life? How did Anne influence Diana?
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