May 29, 2002

The Golden Road

The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery, 1913 frontispiece art by George Gibbs.

The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery was published in 1913 as a sequel to The Story Girl. In this novel, Bev reminisces of his friends and of days gone by on a golden road of childhood.

In The Golden Road, Sara and the other children decide to publish their own magazine to entertain themselves, named Our Magazine. Each child contributes to a particular column, including fiction, fashion, personals, and etiquette. They have several adventures together, including visits to the town "witch," Peg Bowen. Along with sharing adventures, the children have many fights and squabbles. They experience mishaps during a visit from their aunt and attend two weddings. In addition, they learn the secret of the Awkward Man and witness Cecily's bravery to support the missionaries.

By the end of the novel, the characters have grown. Sara, Bev, and Felix must leave Carlisle, and things will never be the same. But Bev's memories remain strong. As Blair Stanley states, "Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it."

Purchase and read The Story Girl and The Golden Road:

The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery


Created May 29, 2002. Last updated February 2, 2022.
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May 27, 2002

The Story Girl

The Story Girl, 1934 book cover


Published in 1911, The Story Girl was L.M. Montgomery's favorite novel. In it, she captures the delight of youth and the joy of storytelling. The novel may have been so dear to her heart because she used it as a showcase for her own childhood experiences and to retell her personal family folklore and stories.

The Story Girl tells the tale of a group of children in Carlisle, Prince Edward Island. The narrator of the story, Beverly King, looks back with his adult eyes on a summer he and his brother Felix spent away from Toronto on P.E.I. with their relatives while their father was away on business. Bev and Felix spend time with their cousins Dan, Felicity, and Cecily King, as well as Sara Ray, Peter Craig, and the novel's namesake, Sara Stanley⁠—the "Story Girl."

The children's minor adventures are interwoven with Sara's fearsome, mythological, humorous, and human tales that mesmerize her young audience. She is the main character, though, unlike Montgomery's other protagonists, she does not have a driving plot line. It is the narrator Bev, who directs our attention to Sara's talents and charms throughout the story.

The Story Girl is followed by its sequel The Golden Road.

Purchase and read The Story Girl and The Golden Road:

The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery


Created May 27, 2002. Re-posted online March 16, 2021. Last updated March 16, 2021.
© worldofanneshirley.com

May 22, 2002

Anne of Windy Poplars (1940)

Photograph of Marcia Mae Jones and Anne Shirley as Jen Pringle and Anne Shirley in Anne of Windy Poplars (1940), RKO Pictures.

In 1940, RKO Pictures released Anne of Windy Poplars as a sequel to their 1934 film Anne of Green Gables. The film was based on L.M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Windy Poplars. The actress Anne Shirley returned to star as Anne Shirley. The film also featured James Ellison as Tony Pringle, Henry Travers (famous for playing Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life) as Matey, Patric Knowles as Gilbert Blythe, Marcia Mae Jones as Jen Pringle, and Joan Carroll as Betty Grayson.

The story in Anne of Windy Poplars begins when Anne takes a job as vice-principal of a school in Pringleton. She struggles to find a place to stay when all the Pringles refuse to board her. Luckily, Anne winds up living at a beautiful home called Windy Poplars with Kate and her brother Matey. Anne befriends Betty Grayson, a young orphan who lives next door with her aunt. At school, Anne faces troubles as the Pringle family plots to remove her from her position. Moreover, Anne’s pupil Jen Pringle tries to turn Anne’s students against her.

This black and white film is 86 minutes long. It was produced by Cliff Reid. Jack Hively directed the Anne of Windy Poplars, and Jerome Cady and Michael Kanin wrote the screenplay. In the United Kingdom, the movie was distributed under the title Anne of Windy Willows.

Image credit:
Photograph of Marcia Mae Jones and Anne Shirley as Jen Pringle and Anne Shirley in Anne of Windy Poplars (1940), RKO Pictures.

Purchase and watch Anne of Green Gables (1934):


Anne of Green Gables (1934) Film


Created May 22, 2002. Re-posted online May 25, 2022. Last updated May 25, 2022.
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May 20, 2002

Anne of Green Gables (1934)

Anne of Green Gables (1934), photo of Anne Shirley and O. P. Heggie


In 1934, L.M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables was adapted for a second time as a black and white film, this time as a talkie by RKO Pictures. The 79-minute-long film was directed by George Nichols Jr. The screenplay was written by Sam Mintz.

The film starred an actress by the name of Anne Shirley. The actress Anne Shirley's given name was Dawn Paris, and she had previously used the stage name Dawn O'Day as a child actress. After starring as Anne in this film, she changed her professional name to Anne Shirley, and she continued to use the name Anne Shirley throughout her acting career.

Anne of Green Gables (1934) co-starred Helen Westley and O.P. Heggie as Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, the siblings who adopt Anne. It also featured Sara Haden as Mrs. Rachel Barry and Gertrude Messinger as Anne's bosom friend Diana Barry. Tom Brown played Gilbert Blythe.

In 1940, Anne Shirley returned to play Anne in a sequel to this film titled Anne of Windy Poplars.

Image credit:
Photograph of photo of Anne Shirley and O. P. Heggie as Anne Shirley and Matthew Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables (1934), RKO Pictures.

Purchase and watch Anne of Green Gables:


Anne of Green Gables (1934) Film


Created May 20, 2002. Re-posted online April 17, 2021. Last updated April 17, 2021.
© worldofanneshirley.com

May 12, 2002

Anne of Avonlea (1975)

Kim Braden as Anne Shirley in Anne of Avonlea (1975)

On January 26, 1975, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) began airing the miniseries Anne of Avonlea. This production was a sequel to their 1972 adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. Kim Braden returned to star as Anne Shirley, Barbara Hamilton returned to play Marilla Cuthbert, and Jan Francis returned as Diana Barry. Gilbert Blythe was portrayed by Christopher Blake, a different actor from the earlier miniseries. The production also featured Madge Ryan as Rachel Lynde, David Garfield as Mr. Harrison, and Anthony Forrest as Roy Gardiner.

Anne of Avonlea was based on L.M. Montgomery's novels Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island, and the story was dramatized for the screen by Elaine Morgan. Joan Craft returned to direct the sequel, and the miniseries was again produced by John McRae. The Anne of Avonlea miniseries aired in six parts and had a running time of 5 hours and 50 minutes.

Anne of Green Gables is one of the few BBC 1 Sunday Serials that is lost and no longer exists in the BBC archives. Luckily for us, Anne of Avonlea survived intact. The Anne of Avonlea miniseries was purchased by Strawberry Entertainment, and it was subsequently purchased by KOCH Vision. The long-awaited DVD was released on September 5, 2006.

Acknowledgements:
Thanks Paul for the information that the miniseries was purchased by Strawberry Entertainment.

External Links (will open in new windows):
Internet Movie Database - cast list for the series
Anne of Green Gables topic at www.missing-episodes.com (archived topic by Internet Archive)

Image credit:
Photograph of Kim Braden as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables © BBC from the 1975 book cover by Penguin Books.

Purchase and watch Anne of Avonlea:

Anne of Avonlea (1975) BBC miniseries

Created May 12, 2002. Re-posted online March 20, 2024. Last updated April 16, 2024.
© worldofanneshirley.com

May 11, 2002

Anne of Green Gables (1972)

Kim Braden as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables (1972)

On February 20, 1972, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) began airing an Anne of Green Gables miniseries as a BBC 1 Sunday Serial. The series starred Kim Braden as Anne Shirley, Barbara Hamilton as Marilla Cuthbert, and Elliott Sullivan as Matthew Cuthbert. Jan Francis played Diana Barry and Robin Halstead played Gilbert Blythe.

The Anne of Green Gables miniseries was based upon L.M. Montgomery's novel, and the story was adapted for the screen by Julia Jones. The series was directed by Joan Craft and produced by John McRae. The series was broadcast in five parts and was 4 hours and 40 minutes in length.

Unfortunately, Anne of Green Gables is one of the few BBC 1 Sunday Serials that is missing, and it no longer exists in the BBC archives. However, the BBC’s 1975 sequel Anne of Avonlea survived, and it was released by Koch Vision on September 5, 2006.

External Links (will open in new windows):
Internet Movie Database - cast list for the series
Anne of Green Gables topic at www.missing-episodes.com (archived topic by Internet Archive)

Personal Comments:
Unfortunately, I never saw this miniseries, and with its current "lost" status in the BBC archives, I am unlikely to see it in the future. If you have any knowledge about the miniseries, scans or images from the production, or if you have seen it and can tell me more about it, then please send me an e-mail, and I'll add the info to this site.

Image credit:
Photograph of Kim Braden as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables © BBC

Purchase and watch Anne of Avonlea:

Anne of Avonlea (1975) BBC miniseries

Created May 11, 2002. Re-posted online March 19, 2024. Last updated April 16, 2024.
© worldofanneshirley.com