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Anne’s Green Gables

Listed under Literary Locations in Canada.

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Lucy Maud Montgomery’s well loved book about wilful red headed orphan Anne with an e (as in “of Green Gables”) sends many readers young and old on pilgrimages to Cavendish in the Prince Edward Island National Park around which Anne’s story plays out. The obvious highlight is peaceful, white Green Gables itself (it’s the real name and everything .) which belonged to cousins of Lucy Maud’s grandfather, and she visited frequently as a child. It’s been turned into a museum inside, made to look exactly as the book describes it - which will appeal to some people and disappoint others: there is a sweet little tea shop, displays and showings of the films, Anne’s farmyard (which is more of an exhibit than an actual farm.), walking trails into ’The Haunted Wood’ and ’Lover’s Lane’ which are both carefully described in the book and the dreaded gift shop. If you’re thinking this all sounds a bit twee you’d be right, it is, but remember so to a certain extent is the story - the real reason to visit is to see the country that inspired the story and to embrace the idea of a more simple time and a more open view of the world by the story’s heroine. One reviewer writes that it was the landscape which set Lucy Maud Montgomery’s imagination on fire and it is certainly true that the country is beautiful and skilfully described in the text. In reality Lucy Maud’s upbringing was very strict and any Anne type behaviour she displayed would have seen her punished by her grandparents who she lived with in Cavendish after her mother died and her father left (if you know the story you’ll begin to start seeing the similarities… Lucy also became a teacher and left work when she was married.).

‘Anne of Green Gables’ was written while Lucy nursed her sick grandmother and was entirely based on a note she wrote saying “elderly brother and sister are sent an orphan girl instead of a boy and decide to keep her.”. An unrelated fact is that Lucy Maud used a photo of the rather debauched Evelyn Nesbit as her model for Anne.

2 Palmers Lane, Charlottestown, C1A 5V6

Written by  Sophie Edgerton.

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