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Modern Messages from Green Gables on Loving, Living and Learning: The Anne Stories

Cover art for /Modern Messages from Green Gables on Loving, Living and Learning: The Anne Stories/, by Robert V. Smith. The cover depicts a painting of two women in period dress standing on a grassy path with the sea, a house, and a lighthouse in the distance. The background is maroon; the title and the author's name appear below the image.

Modern Messages from Green Gables on Loving, Living and Learning: The Anne Stories is a book by Robert V. Smith, illustrated by Dusty Higgins, that consists of a series of first-person reflections, from the point of view of character Anne Shirley and author Lucy Maud Montgomery, on the messages that the Anne books continue to offer their twenty-first-century readership. The book was published as a hardcover by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in November 2021.

From the Back Cover

Many people have read and been inspired by the Anne of Green Gables novels. However, few may know very much about the extraordinary intuition, brilliance, creativity, and productivity of the Anne-author, Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874–1942). Fewer still may understand how Montgomery was much ahead of her time as a feminist and an advocate for women’s roles in society—as reflected in her writings and life story.

This book encourages readers to imagine how Montgomery’s life experiences influenced “the life of Anne” and consider how these real and imaginary lives offer messages for 21st century men and women—their loving, living, and lifelong learning. It offers such understanding by revivifying Anne a little more than 100 years after she left her literary existence in 1919, to portray her life story—fundamentally tied to loving. The revivified Anne and her physician husband Gilbert Blythe, review the life, challenges, and triumphs of their creator, and how Montgomery’s example might offer messages for us on living and learning.

Anne and Gilbert know that Montgomery was a keen observer of others—akin to many of the characters in her books. They describe how Montgomery imaginatively captured the essence of the people around her. The associations include not only the benevolent individuals on her beloved Prince Edward Island and in Ontario, Canada, but also the bigotry, sexual repression, and small mindedness common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The revivified Ann [sic] and Gilbert in this book illuminate Anne’s and Montgomery’s lives that portray integrity, tolerance, compassion, generosity, perseverance, and graciousness—even in times of personal adversity. When these traits are combined with lifelong learning, creativity, and a dedication of service to humanity, we realize enduring messages for all members of the global community in our modern times.


Prologue (xi–xii)

Acknowledgements (xiii)

Introduction (1–2)

Part I: Loving and the Anne Stories

Preface (3–4)

The Anne Stories in Her Own Words (5)

1. My Early Life as Anne of Green Gables (7–9)

2. Later Life as Anne of Avonlea (11–13)

3. Off to Redmond and New Adventures (15–19)

4. My Life at Windy Poplars (21–27)

5. The Bliss of Marriage and Living in Our House of Dreams (29–37)

6. Our Life in Ingleside and Its Bountifulness (39–48)

7. New Dear Friends in Rainbow Valley (49–59)

8. Our Lives through the Great War (61–78)

9. Looking Back, Looking Forward (79–81)

Part II: Living and Learning and the Storied Life of Lucy Maud Montgomery

Preface (83)

Anne and Gilbert Blythe’s Review of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Life with Allusions to the Anne Books and Modern Perspectives (85)

10. The Early Years on Prince Edward Island (87–89)

11. Prairie Province Experiences (91)

12. Finding New Directions and Purpose (93–97)

13. Becoming a Full-Time Author (99–101)

14. The Creation of Anne and the First Anne Story (103–6)

15. Early Fame and Marriage (107–11)

16. Advancing a Career and Starting a Family (113–16)

17. Legal Battles, Losses, and Some Redeeming Successes (117–24)

18. New Vistas, Opportunities, and Challenges (125–32)

19. Major Family Problems but Continued Literary Creativity and Unselfish Service (133–39)

20. Personal Health Challenges and Literary Triumphs (141–51)

21. Reflections on a Literary Giant’s Life (153–54)

Appendix A: Chronological Summaries of the Anne Books with Notes and Quotes (155–253)

Appendix B: Chronological Biography of Lucy Maud Montgomery with Corollaries to the Anne Books (255–333)

Epilogue (335–37)

Bibliography (339–44)

Index (345–70)

This page last updated on 8 December 2021. Please contact the site owner with additions, corrections, questions, and suggestions.