March 03, 2021

Anne of the Island

Anne of the Island, book cover by Elly MacKay

Anne of the Island, published in 1915, is the third novel in the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. In this book, Anne leaves her home in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island for Redmond College in Nova Scotia to study for her B.A. Anne's childhood classmates Gilbert Blythe and Charlie Sloane head off to attend Redmond as well. While at college, Anne interacts with these familiar faces, and she also makes new friends like the beautiful Philippa Gordon. During her time at college, Gilbert proposes marriage, but Anne turns him down. Anne is then courted by the dark and handsome Roy Gardner, and she must eventually decide if they truly belong together.

Purchase and read Anne of the Island and the Anne of Green Gables series:

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Book Set by L.M. Montgomery

Created September 1, 1999. Re-posted online March 3, 2021. Last updated March 3, 2021.

March 02, 2021

Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Avonlea, Bantam book cover

Anne of Avonlea, the sequel to Anne of Green Gables, was published in 1909 as the second novel in the Anne of Green Gables series. Anne Shirley is now 16 years old and teaching at the Avonlea school. As reflected in the title of the book, Anne's circle of influence has widened from affecting her home in Anne of Green Gables to influencing her town in Anne of Avonlea.

We follow Anne as she experiences both the rewards and challenges of being a new teacher. Outside of the classroom, Anne and her friends endeavor to improve Avonlea by forming an Avonlea Village Improvement Society (AVIS). Their efforts have varied results. Meanwhile, Marilla takes in twins named Davy and Dora, who are her distant relations, after their mother dies. The twins add a new energy to Green Gables.

Purchase and read Anne of Avonlea and the Anne of Green Gables series:

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Book Set by L.M. Montgomery

Created September 1, 1999. Re-posted online March 2, 2021. Last updated March 2, 2021.

March 01, 2021

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables, 100th anniversary cover

Anne of Green Gables is a novel published by L.M. Montgomery in 1908. The story begins when Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide to adopt a young boy to help them on their farm. The two elderly siblings send word of their request through a neighbor instead of visiting the orphanage themselves. The Cuthberts are surprised when their neighbor makes an error and returns with a young girl named Anne Shirley instead of the boy they expect.

The Cuthberts at first seem ill-equipped and unlikely to raise Anne. Matthew is extremely shy and afraid of women and girls. Marilla is orderly, sarcastic, and has difficultly expressing affection. In contrast, Anne is wildly imaginative, talkative, and prone to making mishaps. But the unexpected happens, and instead of sending Anne back to the orphanage, the Cuthberts decide to keep her and raise her. In forming this unusual family, Anne finds her first home, and Marilla and Matthew grow and develop in their own ways.

Purchase and read Anne of Green Gables:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Book Set by L.M. Montgomery

Created September 1, 1999. Re-posted online March 1, 2021. Last updated March 1, 2021.

July 31, 2016

Anne of Green Gables Anime Doll by Takara Tomy

Anne of Green Gables Anime Doll by Takara Tomy, Akage no An

On July 31, 2016, Takara Tomy Toys is releasing a limited and exclusive Anne of Green Gables doll based on the 1979 anime series by Nippon Animation. The beautiful anime, also known as Akage no An, was directed by Isao Takahata as part of the World Masterpiece Theatre series. The Anne of Green Gables doll was designed to celebrate 40 years of Nippon Animation. Read more about the Takara Tomy Toy release here.

The sweet Anne Shirley doll is part of the "Rikaraizu" series, which faithfully represents anime characters. The Anne of Green Gables doll is approximately 23 cm tall and has two outfits (shown below):

Anne of Green Gables Anime Doll by Takara Tomy, Akage no An Anne of Green Gables Anime Doll by Takara Tomy, Akage no An

Anne's first outfit is the brown wincey dress she arrived at Green Gables wearing. The second outfit is the beautiful dress with puffed sleeves that Matthew Cuthbert gives Anne for Christmas. The doll can be posed on its own stand, and it comes with a hat, bag, shoes, and other accessories.

Created July 31, 2016. Re-posted online March 7, 2023. Last updated March 7, 2023.

November 30, 2015

Google Doodle Celebrates Lucy Maud Montgomery on her 141st Birthday

Google Doodle showing Anne Shirley and Diana Barry lying in a field

Today's Google Doodle celebrates L.M. Montgomery's 141st birthday with three animated doodles by Olivia When featuring scenes from Montgomery's beloved story Anne of Green Gables.

In one Google Doodle, Anne Shirley and Diana Barry are laying in a field of field of flowers. Anne is writing, while Diana is reading. The pair are wearing flower crowns in their hair.

In a second Google Doodle, Anne Shirley turns green when she tastes the layered cake she prepared for Mrs. Allen's visit to the Cuthbert home. Anne accidentally flavored her cake with anodyne liniment, thinking it was vanilla. Marilla had poured her liniment into an old vanilla bottle and hadn't relabeled the bottle.

Google Doodle showing Anne Shirley eating her liniment cake and turning green.

A third Google Doodle pictures show scenes on the Lake of Shining Waters, with Anne walking to school, Anne and Diana running together, and Gilbert Blythe saving Anne after she played Elaine, in the chapter titled, "An Unfortunate Lily Maid."

Google Doodle showing Anne Shirley and Diana Barry playing at the Lake of Shining Waters and Gilbert Blythe rescuing Anne, the unfortunate Lily Maid.

Google posted the following info about the L.M. Montgomery Google Doodles:

Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote her first novel in 1905. It was rejected by every single publishing house that received it. A few years later, Montgomery tried shopping it again and succeeded. Her story about the adventures of a red-headed girl in Prince Edward Island became a smash hit. That novel ultimately became one of Canada’s most all-time popular books, being translated into around 20 languages and selling more than 50 million copies to date. Anne of Green Gables and its many sequels made Montgomery a wildly successful author and turned PEI into a destination for the book’s thousands of fans.

One of Canada’s most celebrated writers, Montgomery also wrote hundreds of poems and short stories as well as a number of novels apart from the Anne series. She was the first Canadian woman to be made a member of the British Royal Society of Arts and was also appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Today, on what would have been her 141st birthday, we salute Lucy Maud Montgomery with a Doodle that pays tribute to her most iconic book.

Doodler Olivia When, herself an Anne of Green Gables fan, wanted to honor Montgomery by illustrating several scenes from the beloved novel, including a particularly memorable one in which Anne mistakenly bakes a cake with liniment (a medicated oil) instead of vanilla. Here’s to Anne with an “e” Shirley and her revered creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Created November 30, 2015. Re-posted online September 4, 2023. Last updated September 4, 2023.

July 06, 2010

Christina Hendricks on Anne of Green Gables

Christina Hendricks on Anne of Green Gables

I love finding mentions of Anne Shirley and L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables in interviews. Here’s my most recent find.

Christina Hendricks is an actress and model who stars as Joan Holloway on the television series Mad Men. The show is a period drama about a fictional advertising agency set in the 1960s. Christina Hendricks’s talent and striking beauty have made Joan Holloway a favorite on the show. In May of this year, in a poll of female readers, Hendricks was named Esquire’s sexist woman of the year.

This July, prior to the debut of the fourth season of Mad Men, Leslie Gornstein interviewed Christina Hendricks for the Los Angeles Times Magazine. It was a great interview, in which Gornstein asked Hendricks about Joan and Mad Men, her playing the accordion, her seeing Tom Waits perform and once dining with him and his wife, her three-episode role on Firefly, and her appearances in several music videos. She also spoke about finding red carpet gowns, dressing in retro costumes, and the Joan Holloway Barbie doll.

Best of all (for me, at least), Leslie Gornstein asked Christina Hendricks about how she began dying her hair red:

You’ve said you started dying your blond hair red at age 10. How exactly did you sell that choice to your folks?
They did it to me! I was obsessed with the Canadian novel Anne of Green Gables. I decided I was Anne of Green Gables. There was something that spoke to me about her, and I wanted to have her beautiful red hair. So my mother said, “Let’s just go to the drugstore and get one of those cover-the-gray rinses!” My hair was very blond at the time, but it went carrot red. And I was over the moon. I went to school the next day and felt like myself. And then I went back [to that color] over and over again. What a cool mom, right?

I think we can all agree that Christina Hendricks’s Mom was super cool for supporting her daughter’s obsession with Anne of Green Gables. And I adore Christina Hendricks’s red hair.

Gornstein, Leslie. (2010, July) Past Perfect Christina Hendricks. Los Angeles Times Magazine. Originally retrieved from: (presently, dead link). Archived at:

Image credits:
Left: Photograph of Christina Hendricks by Joshua Jordan with styling by Hayley Atkin from "Past Perfect Christina Hendricks", Los Angeles Times Magazine, published July 2010.
Right: Screen capture of Megan Follows as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel © Sullivan Entertainment.

Created July 6, 2010.  Re-posted online October 8, 2022. Last updated September 4, 2023.

July 02, 2008

100th Anniversary Anne of Green Gables Coin

100th Anniversary Anne of Green Gables Coin and Folder

On April 16, 2008, the Royal Canadian Mint released a special Anne of Green Gables coin on the 100th anniversary of the publication of L.M. Montgomery’s novel. The coin is presented in a illustrated full color folder with an illustration of the Green Gables house by Christopher Kovacs shown above. The 25 cent coin is a beautiful collector’s piece with a multicolor image of Anne Shirley by Ben Stahl on the reverse side and an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side.

100th Anniversary Anne of Green Gables Coin Released by the Royal Canadian Mint

Here's an image showing the back of the coin presentation folder:

100th Anniversary Anne of Green Gables Coin and Folder

The Anne of Green Gables coin is described as follows:

"This magnificent 35mm nickel plated steel coin celebrates the literary heroine Anne Shirley with a beautiful painted portrait reflecting her colourful, melodramatic nature. One can easily imagine Anne on the red shores of Prince Edward Island looking out to sea with romantic longing, her blue dress, straw hat and wildflowers so characteristic of 19th-century island life. Based on an original image by Ben Stahl."

"In 1908, an unassuming novel by L.M. Montgomery of Prince Edward Island captivated the world with its heartwarming tale of Anne Shirley, an irrepressible orphan girl who enchants the island’s quiet community of Avonlea with her vivid imagination and endless mishaps. Published in over 20 languages and now 100 years in print, this story continues to delight and charm."

Created July 2, 2008. Re-posted online June 13, 2022.

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.