June 30, 2008

100th Anniversary Anne of Green Gables Stamps

100th Anniversary Anne of Green Gables Stamps Issued by Canada Post and Japan Post

On June 20, 2008, Canada Post and Japan Post jointly released special Anne of Green Gables stamps on the 100th anniversary of the publication of L.M. Montgomery's novel. The dreamy portrait of Anne Shirley is by Ben Stahl, and the painting of the iconic Green Gables house is by Christopher Kovacs. The sweet animated drawings of Anne Shirley, Matthew Cuthbert, Diana Barry, Gilbert Blythe, and Marilla Cuthbert are from the anime series Anne of Green Gables (1979) aka Akage no An by Nippon Animation, which was part of the World Masterpiece Theatre series.

Canada Post also issued a souvenir sheet with a set of two 52¢ Anne of Green Gables stamps to commemorate the occasion with artwork by Ben Stahl and Christopher Kovacs.

100th Anniversary Anne of Green Gables Stamps Issued by Canada Post

The following wonderful article was published by Canada Post upon the release of the stamps with biographical information on L.M. Montgomery, a description of her beloved Prince Edward Island, and details on the artwork, digital illustration, and stamp design:

Issued: June 20, 2008

Article published in

Canada's Stamp Details (Vol. XVII No 2; April to June 2008)

It's hard to believe that the irrepressible Anne Shirley might have lain hidden in a hat box forever. When Lucy Maud Montgomery completed her first novel in 1905, she received several rejections from publishers, so she put the story away. But Anne, with characteristic persistence, must have tugged at her imagination. A few years later, Montgomery retrieved the novel and sent it out again. Anne of Green Gables was finally published in Boston in 1908, to immediate success.

One hundred years later, Anne and her story are featured on a pair of domestic rate (52¢) stamps issued by Canada Post to celebrate the novel's centennial. The stamp images are based on original artwork officially authorized by The heirs of Lucy Maud Montgomery and the Anne of Green Gables Licensing Authority Inc. The painting of Anne was created by Ben Stahl, and that of her beloved Green Gables house by Christopher Kovacs.

"Anne is such a unique character, so full of life and so inspired by nature," says designer Dennis Page. "These paintings represent her story well-the images are surrounded by nature, and Anne appears lost in her thoughts."

Anne's name, he notes, is printed on the stamps in a typeface as personal and expressive as she is. Page also worked with digital illustrator Mike Little on a unique frame for the two images, which serves as a subtle reminder that Anne's famous story is actually a work of fiction. "The stamp frames are meant to resemble the pages of a book printed in 1908, with deckle edges and an original look and feel."

Even Montgomery said she never felt quite truthful admitting that this vibrant red-headed girl was indeed a fictional character. Although Anne of Green Gables was her first novel, Montgomery had been writing poems and stories since childhood, inspired by her life on Prince Edward Island. Born in 1874, she was not even two when her mother died of tuberculosis and she was sent to live with her grandparents in Cavendish, a town later made famous as Avonlea. She grew up immersed in nature and Anne's scenic descriptions of Avonlea are drawn from Montgomery's own experiences of living in Cavendish where she was enchanted by the orchards, woods and beaches. Montgomery once wrote, "Everything was invested with a kind of fairy grace and charm, emanating from my own fancy, the trees that whispered nightly around the old house where I slept, the woodsy nooks I explored, the homestead fields, each individualized by some oddity or fence or shape, the sea whose murmur was never out of my ears - all were radiant with 'the glory and the dream'...amid all the commonplaces of life, I was very near to a kingdom of ideal beauty."1 Montgomery continued writing while training and working briefly as a teacher, and was earning a comfortable income from her published work even before the success of Anne of Green Gables. Eventually she married and moved to Ontario, but her heart and imagination stayed on the Island.

The house known as Green Gables is now a national historic site, with an operational period-style post office. Montgomery never actually lived there, but it was home to relatives, and she often explored the surrounding property. The setting clearly inspired her-the landscape near Cavendish is as vivid a character in her books as any other. To recognize this special place as uniquely Canadian, the souvenir sheet bears a maple leaf die perforation between the two stamps.

The Cavendish connection is featured on a souvenir sheet official first day cover (OFDC), and on two additional OFDCs, each bearing double cancels-one real (Cavendish PE) and one fictional (Avonlea PE).

Anne has captured the imaginations of girls around the world and her story has a special history for many Japanese. Anne first arrived in Japan in the 1930s with Canadian missionary Loretta Shaw. When Shaw left the country at the start of the Second World War, she gave a copy of the novel to her friend Hanako Muraoka, who translated it as Akage no An, literally "Anne of the Red Hair". After the war ended, Japanese education officials were eager to introduce children to Western texts, and Muraoka suggested the novel. In 1952, it was included in the school curriculum, and it has been well loved by generations of students ever since. Today, thousands of Japanese travel to Cavendish each year to visit Anne's fictional home.

Despite its distinctly Canadian setting, Anne of Green Gables belongs to the world. The story has captured the imaginations of readers in many languages and countries. "In Japan, readers have formed a fan club called the 'Buttercups,' named for Anne's favourite flower," says Joy Parks, Research Officer, Stamp Services, at Canada Post. Buttercups appear on the floral envelope seals included with the stamp booklet, part of a collection of flowers reproduced from the paintings depicted on the stamps. Like the wildflowers that return to bloom each spring, Anne lives on in the imagination of her readers, as real today as when she was first published.

Additional information is available on the following websites:

1 Stan Sauerwein, Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Incredible Life of the Creator of Anne of Green Gables (Canmore, Alberta: Altitude Publishing Canada Ltd.) 2004, p. 22-23.

Created June 30, 2008. Re-posted online November 18, 2022. Last Updated March 4, 2023.

October 02, 2007

Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner

Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner by L.M. Montgomery (1907)
After spending many hours searching through microfiche in my university's library, I rediscovered an 100-year-old short story by L.M. Montgomery. The story is called "Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner," and you can read it here exclusively. "Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner" was originally published in 1907 in The Housewife, the year before Anne of Green Gables was published. To my knowledge this story has never been republished since.

The story is about four sisters: Laura, Kate, Margaret, and Agnes, who narrates the tale. Each girl has her own ambitions. Laura wants to be an artist, Kate plays the violin, Margaret wants to get a college education, and Agnes wants to be a writer. Aunt Susanna faintly approves of Margaret's desire for an education, but disapproves of the artistic, musical, and literary goals of her other three nieces. The sisters try to please Aunt Susanna, hoping their wealthy aunt will send Margaret to college.

The story begins when Aunt Susanna arrives at her nieces's home. She's full of criticism, but also needs a favor. She is in a bind, and must travel from town to visit a sick relative. She needs the girls to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for her and Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert upon their return home. Agnes has just told Aunt Susanna that she's a good cook, so she feels she must agree to prepare the meal. With trepidation, Agnes says she will cook dinner, and Kate volunteers to help her.

Despite the their best efforts, Agnes and Kate's Thanksgiving preparations turn out to be a disaster. Will they be able to save Thanksgiving and win Aunt Susanna's approval?

Read the original scanned story text below or download a PDF version here:

Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner by L.M. Montgomery (1907)

Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner by L.M. Montgomery (1907)

Updated to add: Long after I posted this story on my website, it was gathered into another collection online.

Montgomery, L.M. (1907, November). Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner. The Housewife. pages 5 and 14.

Created October 2, 2007. Re-posted online November 24, 2022. Last updated November 24, 2022

January 21, 2007

Anne of Windy Poplars (1940) Screening

Anne of Windy Poplars (1940) film poster featuring Patric Knowles and Anne Shirley

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City is showcasing a film exhibition called "A View from the Vaults: Warner Bros., RKO Pictures, and First National Pictures, Inc." from February 9–24, 2007. This exhibition includes a screening of Anne of Windy Poplars (1940) on Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 3:45 p.m.

The film series includes a "selection of ten enduring films produced by Warner Bros., RKO Pictures, and First National Pictures, Inc., from 1938 through 1949. These films were all recently acquired by the Museum."

"A View from the Vaults" is organized by Anne Morra, the Assistant Curator in the Department of Film.

Here are the descriptions of the 10 featured films:

Jezebel. 1938. USA. Directed by William Wyler. Screenplay by Clements Ripley, Abem Finkel, John Huston, based on the play by Owen Davis. With Bette Davis, Henry Fonda. Davis won an Oscar for her iconic portrayal of Julie Marsden, a woman whose assertion of independence is tragically misunderstood in 1850s New Orleans. Larger than life, Julie sets out to win back her lost social standing—but only on her own terms. 104 min. Friday, February 9, 5:45; Saturday, February 17, 6:00. T1

Gunga Din. 1939. USA. Directed by George Stevens. Screenplay by Joel Sayre, Fred Guiol, based on a story by Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur, adapted from the poem “Gunga Din” by Rudyard Kipling. With Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen. This account of the tragicomic exploits of three members of the French Foreign Legion and their fight against the corrupt Guru in India was voted to the National Film Registry in 1999. 117 min. Saturday, February 10, 1:30; Wednesday, February 21, 6:00. T1

Anne of Windy Poplars. 1940. USA. Directed by Jack Hively. Screenplay by Michael Kanin, Jerry Cady, based on the novel by L. M. Montgomery. With Anne Shirley, Patric Knowles. A follow-up to Anne of Green Gables (1934), this film follows a grown-up Anne as she moves to the remote Canadian town of Pringleton and builds a new life as a teacher at a small provincial school. 86 min. Saturday, February 10, 3:45. T1

They Drive by Night. 1940. USA. Directed by Raoul Walsh. Screenplay by Jerry Wald, Richard Macaulay, based on the novel The Long Haul by Albert Isaac Bezzerides. With George Raft, Ida Lupino. Brothers Joe and Paul Fabrini haul produce from farms in northern California to Los Angeles. They refuse to drive for anyone else, and attempts are made to intimidate them into joining a ruthless competitor’s business. 95 min. Saturday, February 10, 5:30; Monday, February 19, 8:30. T1

The Man Who Came to Dinner. 1942. USA. Directed by William Keighley. Screenplay by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, based on the play by George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart. With Monty Woolley, Bette Davis. Radio personality Sheridan Whiteside slips and falls on an icy sidewalk in front of the home of a prominent Ohio family. With a broken leg, he cannot be moved—and soon the meddlesome Whiteside is interfering with the lives of his hosts. 113 min. Sunday, February 11, 5:00; Monday, February 19, 6:00. T1

Action in the North Atlantic. 1943. USA. Directed by Lloyd Bacon. Screenplay by John Howard Lawson, based on the story “Heroes without Uniform” by Guy Gilpatric. With Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey. In this WWII thriller, Lieutenant Joe Rossi (Bogart) must navigate through enemy-filled waters on the perilous journey from Halifax to Murmansk. 128 min. Monday, February 12, 6:00; Saturday, February 24, 2:00. T1

The Corn Is Green. 1945. USA. Directed by Irving Rapper. Screenplay by Casey Robinson, Frank Cavett, based on the play by Emlyn Williams. With Bette Davis, Nigel Bruce. Schoolteacher Lily Moffat is determined to change the primitive education system in her tiny Welsh mining town. The townsfolk oppose her innovative pedagogy, but they cannot deter Lily from her efforts. 114 min. Monday, February 12, 8:30; Friday, February 16, 5:45. T1

Murder, My Sweet. 1945. USA. Directed by Edward Dmytryk. Screenplay by John Paxton, based on the novel Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. With Dick Powell, Claire Trevor. Private eye Philip Marlowe is hired to find the missing girlfriend of an ex-convict. This must-see thriller, steeped in film noir atmosphere, features the disappearance of a dame and some dirty double-crossing—not to mention the iconic stature of Marlowe himself. 95 min. Wednesday, February 14, 6:00; Saturday, February 17, 2:00. T1

Flamingo Road. 1949. USA. Directed by Michael Curtiz. Screenplay by Robert Wilder, Edmund H. North, based on the play by Robert Wilder, Sally Wilder. With Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott. Crawford plays Lane Bellamy, a woman with an unfavorable reputation who attempts to climb the social ladder in a sinister Southern town run by a corrupt political boss. 94 min. Wednesday, February 14, 8:00; Saturday, February 17, 4:00. T1

Mighty Joe Young. 1949. USA. Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack. Screenplay by Ruth Rose, based on a story by Merian C. Cooper. With Robert Armstrong, Terry Moore. For twelve years Jill Young has tenderly nurtured her pet gorilla Joe in Tanzania. When a Hollywood promoter arrives and convinces Jill to bring Joe to Tinseltown, the trouble begins. Winner of the 1950 Academy Award for Best Special Effects. 94 min. Thursday, February 15, 6:00; Wednesday, February 21, 8:30. T1

Please visit the MOMA website for further details.

Thank you to Julia Crimmins for sending along this news.

Image credit:
Anne of Windy Poplars (1940) film poster featuring Patric Knowles and Anne Shirley, RKO Pictures.

Created January 21, 2007. Re-posted online June 9, 2022. Last updated June 9, 2022.

September 03, 2005

Anne of Green Gables U-Haul Truck

Photograph of a Prince Edward Island - Anne of Green Gables U-Haul truck

When I opened my front door today, I found this Anne of Green Gables U-Haul truck parked right outside my apartment. I took this photograph of it from my doorstep.

The under the illustration of Anne and Green Gables, the side of the truck reads:


Seeing the truck made me smile. It's always nice to have a reminder of Prince Edward Island and Anne Shirley.

Here's a crisper view of the Anne Shirley graphic art from the U-Haul website:

Prince Edward Island - Anne of Green Gables U-Haul truck graphic

Created September 3, 2005. Re-posted online June 10, 2022. Last updated June 10, 2022.

June 23, 2005

Anne & Gilbert: The Musical (2005)

Anne & Gilbert, The Musical, photo of Marla McLean as Anne Shirley and Peter Deiwick as Gilbert Blythe

Anne & Gilbert: The Musical (2005) is a musical based on stories from the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. The first act of the musical is based on Anne of Avonlea, and the second act is based on Anne of the Island. The story was adapted for the stage by Jeff Hochhauser, Nancy White, and Bob Johnston.

I was fortunate to watch the musical in 2006 at the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside. It's a wonderful production, and the songs are charming. A CD featuring some of the songs and a book based on the Anne & Gilbert musical are available online.

Purchase the Anne & Gilbert cast recording CD to listen to the music and check out the script and lyrics book:

Anne & Gilbert: The Musical Cast Recording CD Anne & Gilbert: The Musical Script and Lyrics Book

Created June 23, 2005. Re-posted online March 28, 2021. Last updated March 28, 2021.

April 29, 2004

Anne of Green Gables Word Search

Enjoy this Anne of Green Gables word search. You can print the image below or download a PDF version of the word search.

Anne of Green Gables word search

Created April 29, 2004. Re-posted online October 24, 2022. Last updated October 24, 2022.

November 23, 2002

Road to Avonlea (1990-1996)

Road to Avonlea cast photograph featuring (from left to right) the characters Cecily King (Harmony Cramp), Olivia King (Mag Ruffman), Janet King (Lally Cadeau), Felicity King (Gema Zamprogna), Alec King (Cedric Smith), Sara Stanley (Sarah Polley), and Hetty King (Jackie Burroughs).

Road to Avonlea (1990–1996) is a television series produced by Sullivan Entertainment that aired for seven seasons on the CBC. The storylines in Road to Avonlea are based in part on L.M. Montgomery's novels The Story Girl and The Golden Road as well as her short story collections Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea.

Road to Avonlea takes place in the early 20th century in the fictional town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, the home of the Anne of Green Gables novels and Sullivan Entertainment’s Anne of Green Gables miniseries. The series begins when Sara Stanley is sent to live in Avonlea with her mother's family, the Kings, after her father is accused of embezzlement. Sara is a wealthy girl, who is used to life in big city Montreal. She must adjust to new experiences in a small village and her close-knit relatives.

Over the course of the series, its focus expanded from Sara to the rest of the King family and residents of Avonlea. Like other productions by Sullivan Entertainment, Road to Avonlea is humorous, romantic, and heart-warming. Its visually beautiful with a talented cast.

Road to Avonlea was a celebrated television series, winning 15 Gemini Awards and three Emmys. It aired in the United States on the Disney Channel with the title Avonlea. The series concluded after airing 91 episodes. Following the series finale, the Road to Avonlea cast reunited in a 1998 made-for-television film called Happy Christmas, Miss King (also known as An Avonlea Christmas). Set in 1914, the storyline was set during the first World War.

Image credit:
The Road to Avonlea photograph above features (from left to right) the characters Cecily King (Harmony Cramp), Olivia King (Mag Ruffman), Janet King (Lally Cadeau), Felicity King (Gema Zamprogna), Alec King (Cedric Smith), Sara Stanley (Sarah Polley), and Hetty King (Jackie Burroughs). © Sullivan Entertainment

External link:
Road of Avonlea
: The Official Website

Purchase and watch all seven seasons of Road to Avonlea:

Road to Avonlea Seven Season DVD Box Set by Sullivan Entertainment

Created November 23, 2002. Re-posted online March 12, 2022. Last updated March 12, 2022.

August 15, 2002

Anne of Green Gables (1956)

Anne of Green Gables (1956), photo of John Drainie as Matthew Cuthbert and Toby Tarnow as Anne Shirley

In March 1956, Anne of Green Gables was broadcast as a black and white television musical film by the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). The 90-minute program aired as part of the CBC Folio series. The musical was based upon L.M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables and starred Toby Tarnow as Anne Shirley.

The musical film was directed by Don Harron, a Canadian actor, comedian, author, composer, director, and journalist. It written by James Costigan and Harron. Two years later, a second CBC-TV production aired on November 18, 1958, starring Kathy Willard as Anne Shirley. The 1956 television production was the basis for the stage production Anne of Green Gables - The Musical, which has been performed every summer since 1965 at the Charlottetown Festival in Prince Edward Island, Canada. This musical is the longest-running stage musical in Canada.

Image Credit:
"Anne of Green Gables in Hollis" by Michael Cleveland, Merrimack Journal, December 30, 2005.

Created August 15, 2002. Re-posted online June 12, 2021. Last updated June 12, 2021.