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Who is Anne, Anyway?

In Lucy Maud Montgomery's 1908 novel, Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew live on a PEI farm. Getting on in years, the pair decides to adopt an orphan boy to help out with the chores. It's with some surprise, then, that Matthew comes back from the train station with a feisty, 11-year-old, redheaded girl. But it's not long before Anne—and her adventures and mishaps and friends—becomes an essential part of Marilla and Matthew's lives. An immediate hit, the book made Anne an essential part of readers’ lives as well. Even Mark Twain, who called her "the dearest and most lovable child in fiction since the immortal Alice [in Wonderland]," was smitten.

Montgomery went on to write a total of eight volumes in the series. In 1985, the original was made into a two-part TV movie, which was a huge success, airing first on the CBC in Canada and then on PBS in the United States. That was followed by a series that ran from 1990 to 1996. Anne has also become a stage staple thanks to theatrical productions like Anne of Green Gables—The Musical (a must-see at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown) and Anne and Gilbert (a melodious sequel that debuted in 2005). Of course, for the millions of modern-day Anne fans, Cavendish is hallowed ground because the top Green Gables sites and experiences are all in the area. These include Green Gables, the Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Cavendish Home, Avonlea—Village of Anne of Green Gables, the Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace, and the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush.

Updated: 2014-04-09

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