Before Green Gables

Author: Budge Wilson
Country: Canada
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Date: 2008
Pagination: xii + 447 pp.
Format: Jacketed hardcover
Trim: 8” x 5.5”
ISBN: 9780670067213

Before Green Gables is a prequel to L.M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables by Nova Scotia children’s author Budge Wilson. The first edition was published by Penguin Canada in 2008 as part of its 100 Years of Anne publishing program, which also included a new hardcover edition of Anne of Green Gables and Imagining Anne: The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery, by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly. It was published simultaneously in the US and the UK and has since been translated into French, German, and Japanese.

From the Dust Jacket (Penguin Canada edition)

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables is one of the best-loved stories of all time. For a hundred years, readers have followed Anne’s adventures from the moment she arrives on Prince Edward Island and discovers that this strange new place is her true home. But how does Anne find her way to Avonlea? What happens before Green Gables?

Anne Shirley has a difficult early life. Born to kind and loving parents, she is tragically orphaned as a baby, and is soon sent from one foster home to the next, caring for other people’s children even as a child herself, and escaping from her vivid imagination. Curious, inventine, and outspoken, Anne battles to make a life for herself by searching out kindred spirits, finding solace in her books, and dreaming of the day she has a family of her own. Award-winning author Budge Wilson brings young Anne vibrantly to life in this highly anticipated and fully authorized prequel to the much-loved Anne of Green Gables.

From the Dust Jacket (G.P. Putnam’s Sons edition)

Before Green Gables is the story of Anne Shirley’s early life, and the journey that led her to Prince Edward Island – a heartwarming tale of a precocious child whose lively imagination and relentless spirit help her overcome difficult circumstances; and of a young girl’s ability to love, learn, and above all, dream.

When readers first meet Anne, she is eleven, and has just been sent from an orphanage to meet her new family. Readers never learned the events of Anne’s life before she arrived at Green Gables.

Until now.

After baby Anne’s parents die in an epidemic, she is sent from one foster family to another, always searching for the love and comfort of a real home. A clever child, she learns to talk early, and even in her darkest times she finds joy in the power of her imagination and, eventually, by escaping into the world of books. Through her adventures at school and in foster homes and orphanages, Anne’s vibrant personality – her imagination, her hot temper, her impetuousness, her dramatic flair – shines through.

For the millions of readers who devoured the Green Gables series, Before Green Gables is an irresistible treat: the story of how one of literature’s most beloved heroines became the girl who captivated the world.

From the Back Cover (Puffin edition)

Life isn’t easy for young Anne Shirley – orphaned and all alone in the world. The question everyone asks is: What’s to be done with Anne? But Anne’s a feisty girl with a tempestuous spirit and lovable charm – so life isn’t all hardship and despair. Even when, time and again, she finds herself in trouble, Anne knows she must stay strong if she is to find a true friend and the chance to dream her dreams…

Before Green Gables is the wonderful prequel to the much-loved classic Anne of Green Gables, which has continued to delight readers since its first publication in 1908.


Pagination refers to Canadian edition; U.S. edition; U.K. edition

1. Walter Leaves for Work (1–3/1–2/1–2)

2. Jessie’s Revelation (4–7/2–6/3–7)

3. Walter Returns (8–10/6–8/8–10)

4. Tea with Jessie (11–18/9–16/11–19)

5. Waiting for March (19–22/16–18/20–23)

6. Mrs. Thomas Comes (23–28/19–24/24–30)

7. Anne Shirley (29–31/24–26/31–33)

8. First Weeks (32–36/27–29/34–37)

9. Fever and Fears (37–40/30–33/38–42)

10. A Small World (41–47/33–39/43–49)

11. Four Days (48–51/40–43/50–53)

12. What to Do? (52–56/43–47/54–58)

13. Moving Out (57–63/47–52/59–64)

14. Moving In (64–68/53–57/65–69)

15. Difficult Times (69–75/57–63/70–76)

16. Eliza’s News (76–79/63–67/77–81)

17. Changes (80–85/67–71/82–86)

18. Heartbreak (86–89/71–74/87–90)

19. Eliza’s Wedding Day (90–92/74–76/91–94)

20. Katie Maurice (93–98/77–81/95–100)

21. Katie and Anne (99–102/82–85/101–4)

22. Mr. Thomas and Anne (103–9/85–91/105–11)

23. Disaster (110–13/91–95/112–16)

24. The Fruits of Disaster (114–18/95–99/117–21)

25. Preparing to Leave (119–25/99–105/122–28)

26. Leaving and Arriving (126–31/105–10/129–35)

27. Marysville (132–36/111–14/136–40)

28. Mats, Education, and Eggs (137–42/114–19/141–46)

29. A Long Walk (143–49/120–26/147–54)

30. The Egg Man (150–57/126–32/155–61)

31. Words (158–63/132–38/162–68)

32. Anger and Fear (164–69/138–43/169–74)

33. New Directions [U.S. and U.K. title: On the Way] (170–77/143–50/175–82)

34. First Day at School (178–84/150–56/183–90)

35. Recess (185–88/156–60/191–95)

36. A Talk with Mr. Johnson (189–94/160–65/196–202)

37. Anne Receives a Dictionary (195–202/166–72/203–10)

38. A Blizzard of Surprises (203–7/172–77/211–16)

39. An Expedition [U.S. and U.K. title: A Journey] (208–14/177–83/217–24)

40. A Terrible Shock (215–19/184–88/225–30)

41. A Hardened Heart (220–25/189–94/231–37)

42. A Surprise Visit (226–31/194–99/238–43)

43. A Magic Day (232–39/199–206/244–51)

44. A Long Fall (240–43/206–10/254–56)

45. Winter (244–52/210–17/257–64)

46. Another Surprise Visit [U.S. title: A Surprise Visit] (253–57/217–21/265–69)

47. School and Other Things (258–63/221–26/270–75)

48. Terror (264–69/226–31/276–82)

49. Birthday Presents (270–75/232–37/283–88)

50. Tragedy [U.S. and U.K. title: Disaster] (276–80/237–41/289–94)

51. The Downside of Death (281–85/241–46/295–300)

52. A Sad Conversation (286–91/246–51/301–7)

53. Mrs. Hammond Comes (292–97/252–56/308–13)

54. Goodbyes [U.S. title: Good-byes] (298–303/257–62/314–19)

55. The Journey (304–11/262–68/320–27)

56. Discoveries (312–19/268–75/328–36)

57. Violetta and Miss Haggerty (320–26/275–81/337–43)

58. More Discoveries (327–35/281–89/344–52)

59. Daffodils and Other Things (336–42/289–96/353–60)

60. Afterwards [U.S. title: Afterward] (343–49/296–302/361–67)

61. Time Passes (350–57/302–9/368–75)

62. Another Year, Another Time (358–64/309–16/376–82)

63. Endings (365–72/316–23/383–90)

64. Another Departure (373–81/323–31/391–400)

65. Another Journey (382–90/331–39/401–9)

66. Another Arrival (391–98/339–46/410–17)

67. New Beginnings (399–404/346–51/418–24)

68. A Friend! (405–12/352–58/425–32)

69. A Revelation (413–23/359–69/433–44)

70. Mrs. Spencer [U.S. title: Mrs. Spencer Arrives] (424–30/369–75/445–52)

71. On the Way (431–33/376–87/453–65)

Acknowledgments (445–47/388–89/vi–ix)



Wilson, Budge. Before Green Gables. Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2008. 100 Years of Anne. Jacketed hardcover. ISBN 9780670067213.

Wilson, Budge. Before Green Gables. Toronto: Puffin Canada, 2009. Trade paperback. ISBN 9780143055365.

United States

Wilson, Budge. Before Green Gables. The Prequel to Anne of Green Gables. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008. Jacketed hardcover. ISBN 9780399154683.

Wilson, Budge. Before Green Gables. The Prequel to Anne of Green Gables. New York: Berkley Books, 2009. Trade paperback. ISBN 9780425225769.

United Kingdom

Wilson, Budge. Before Green Gables. Inspired by L.M. Montgomery’s Classic Series. London: Puffin Books, 2008. Unjacketed hardcover. ISBN 9780141384122.

Wilson, Budge. Before Green Gables. Inspired by L.M. Montgomery’s Classic Series. London: Puffin Books, 2009. Trade paperback. ISBN 9780141323596.

French Translation

Wilson, Budge. Anne… Avant la maison aux pignons verts. Translated by Dominique Fortier. Montreal: Les Éditions du Trécarré, 2009. Trade paperback. ISBN 9782895684398.

German Translation

Wilson, Budge. Wie Alles Begann: Anne, das Mädchen von Green Gables. Translated by Dagmar Weischer. Munich: CBJ Verlag, 2009. Trade paperback. ISBN 9783570221129.


Reviews by Sarah Ellis, Carole Gerson, and Benjamin Lefebvre.