Anne of Green Gables, the red-haired pigtailed little orphan girl with the straw hat and strong will still makes Prince Edward Island a popular destination for her fans. Though the original story appeared over a century ago, the story of the irrepressible Anne remains a top favorite for young girls, and now, with availability on Kindle, a whole new generation can discover her spirit.
Originally written by Lucy Maude Montgomery in 1908, Anne of Green Gables was an immediate success and led to a series of “Anne” books. Set on Prince Edward Island, Canada, where Lucy Maude Montgomery was born in 1874, it is the story of a young orphan girl sent to live on the island with a couple who had asked for a boy orphan. Anne constantly finds her way into a series of misadventures which keep the whole house in a constant state of excitement. Maude Montgomery had some insight into how this Orphan Anne could feel, being raised by her maternal grandparents following her mother’s death in 1876. The story has now been translated into 36 languages including Polish and Japanese.
The success of Anne of Green Gables led to a long list of sequels – Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside.
A visit to Prince Edward Island quickly shows Anne’s endurance. Visitors can begin with a photo next to a statue of Anne as they cross Confederation Bridge. The Anne Authority licensing body has given permission for Anne potato chips, Anne raspberry drinks, Land of Anne deeds – well, you get the idea. True devotees can even get married in the same room where Lucy Maud Montgomery said her vows a century ago.
Street performers and greeters dressed as Anne frequent the streets, and there’s even Anne of Green Gables: The Musical.
Reinforcement of Anne’s ongoing popularity came through a very famous visitor to the island, who even brought her husband along – Kate Middleton, better known as the Duchess of Cambridge and her husband Prince William. PEI was Kate’s choice, after falling in love with the book as a child. “This will make the reading of Anne of Green Gables cool again for several generations,” said Elizabeth Epperly, a Montgomery scholar.
For non-Anne fans in your group, Prince Edward Island is also known for competitive golf courses, succulent seafood, great beaches, and even cultural experience adventures.
Visiting Prince Edward Island
Information on visiting PEI is available through the Prince Edward Island Tourism website or by calling 800-463-4PEI (4734). The main airport on the Island is located in Charlottetown, with regular service from Air Canada, WestJet and Delta.
Many visitors also drive to the island over Confederation Bridge, starting in New Brunswick then soaring 60 kilometers above the Northumberland Strait before arriving in Borden-Carleton and the Gateway Village Visitor Centre.
Can you hear Anne calling you?