To many of us she is known simply as “Anne”.
“Anne” is Anne Shirley (spelled with an ‘e’, of course), a character created by the vivid imagination of Prince Edward Island author L.M. Montgomery. An orphan since her parents died of fever when she was an infant, Anne has long dreamed of finding a real home and a real family. Sent by mistake to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert – an elderly brother and sister living in Prince Edward Island – Anne is sure that she has found her place in the world once and for all. Known for her braids of fiery red hair, un-ending chatter, limitless imagination and unshakeable optimism, Anne has been a beloved friend for readers of all ages since the first novel in the series, Anne of Green Gables, was published in 1908.
Beyond the basic facts, Anne has come to mean much more than that to many. Her story translated into dozens of languages around the world, Anne has come to symbolize many things to different people. For some, she is representative of the modern woman – competing alongside the boys for scholarships and working hard to earn her way to college. For others, Anne’s determination to succeed and to thrive despite all obstacles has made her a symbol of hope, optimism and the power of faith. She is a familiar and comforting figure from childhood for those who met her as children. For the people of Prince Edward Island, Anne means summers filled with visitors seeking Green Gables House and “Avonlea.” No matter what your relationship to her, Anne is a powerful icon and the book’s success worldwide is proof of the universality of the quest for the things we all wish for in life: friendship, love, acceptance and a home. 2008 marks the centennial of Anne of Green Gables.
Campbell Webster speaks with us from Prince Edward Island about Anne, what she means to Anne enthusiasts and the region, and finally just what is planned this year as part of Anne2008.
Anne of Green Gables [17:37m]: Play Now
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