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Anne Of Green Gables

The Canadian author, Lucy Montgomery created a timeless character and a classic novel when she wrote Anne of Green Gables. Published in 1908, the book became a firm favorite, especially with children. Montgomery set the story in her own childhood home of Prince Edward Island around a fictional town called Avonlea. It is the scenic, rural countryside that is evocatively depicted.

The main character of Anne Shirley is a feisty, talkative, high-spirited girl who has a strong imagination. The novel begins when she is eleven and concludes when she is sixteen. She is an orphan who is sent mistakenly to live with an unmarried brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The Cuthberts are thrown into confusion when she arrives as they were promised a boy who could help on their farm. The timid brother and straight-laced sister don't know what to do with the thin, red haired little girl. Gradually, they all form a bond and Anne of Green Gables grows into a mature young woman under her guardians' influence.

The success of the book has led to various adaptations and a tourism industry. Fans of the story like to seek out the actual places that Montgomery drew inspiration from, something that Prince Edward Island has financially benefited from. It is particularly popular in Japan and has been translated into seventeen languages. The story has even been produced as an anime TV series in Japan. Montgomery, who lived from 1874-1942 was quite prolific and wrote several short stories and poems. She also wrote seven sequels to the original Anne of Green Gables novel, taking Anne to the age of fifty-four at the end of the final book.

There have been two theatrical movie adaptations, a silent film in 1919 and a black and white film from 1934 with Dawn O'Day playing Anne. Five made for television movies were also produced, the first being in 1956 and the last one in 2000. A TV series that ran from 1989-1996 called Road to Avonlea was based on the original novel and some of the sequels. Strangely, it did not feature Anne but concentrated on the other characters. Two stage musicals have been produced; Anne and Gilbert, The Musical and Anne of Green Gables, The Musical.

The stories will continue to delight each generation as parents pass them down to their children. The books are especially pleasing to girls, who don't have many heroines in literature to aspire to. Montgomery's tale still resonates with the modern reader and that is why Anne of Green Gables has endured.

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