The Ballad of Anne and Gilbert

I was in a pretty strange mood yesterday (anyone who follows my Twitter feed can back me up on that one). And I was chatting with Justine about yesterday’s post, and specifically about our literary crushes. She mentioned she never really crushed on GIlbert, though she found him perfect for Anne. I found that interesting, because as far as I was concerned, Anne — whom I love, don’t get me wrong — barely lucked out not screwing that relationship up completely at every turn. (Which turned into a whole conversation about how Anne, having been raised in her formative years by folks who cared not at all for her, probably had deep-seated psychological issues about being worthy of love, etc.)

Anyway, Justine mentioned that she hadn’t read the books in years. I then gave her a quick rundown of the Anne and Gilbert arc throughout the series. Here goes:

[NOTE: I couldn’t find *my* Anne of Green Gables, which was a blue illustrated hardcover with Anne pressing her face against the blossoms of The Great White Way of Delight, so just enjoy this still from the movie, which illustrates my point quite well, I think.]



Gilbert: I think you’re adorable, but I’m young and cannot properly flirt.

Anne: I hate you! I hate you! You have humiliated me in the worst way possible! I shall not speak to you for years!

[Years pass]

Gilbert: Gosh. I really made you mad. Here, let me save your life when you quite recklessly choose to drown yourself in a leaky boat.. I’m really sorry about that whole “carrots” incident, can we be friends?

Anne: No, I hate you! I shall never forgive you, Go Away!

[More years pass]

Gilbert: Gosh Anne, I’m so sorry to hear about your foster father. Here, have my teaching job. I’ll trek all the way across the island every day instead.

Anne: Oh, wow. Guess you aren’t a jerk. Fine. We can be friends.



Gilbert: I’m so glad we’re friends. I think you’re grand. It’s too bad I don’t see you more often, on account of me trekking all over the island every day to go to that other teaching job I took so you could stay here in Avonlea. Gee, I’m noble. Also, have you noticed all our peers are getting married?

Anne: Huh, how about that.

Marilla and Mrs. Lynde: Gee, that Anne and Gilbert are hanging out a lot together — well, as much as they can considering how far away he works and all. Bet they’ll be getting married soon.

Anne: Oh, you silly old biddies!

Gilbert: Anne, don’t you think they’ve got a point?

Anne: Huh?



Random Dude #1’s sister: Anne, will you marry my brother?

Anne: LOL! I mean, huh? I mean, no. I, um, need a real romance.

Random Dude #2: Anne, will you marry me?

Anne: LOL! I mean, huh? Oh, come now. Don’t be silly. I need a real romance.

Gilbert: Okay, Anne. Enough is enough. I think I’m in love with you.

Anne: What? No! We’re friends! And haven’t you been listening about all that real romance stuff?

Gilbert: But that’s the best kind of marriage! We’re so alike, and we get along so well, and why are you being so strangely obstinate about all this?

Anne: Hell no! Go away! Never speak to me again!

Gilbert: Fine, you’re an idiot. I’m going to date this rich beautiful girl over here.

Anne: Hmmm, whenever I see Gilbert with that rich beautiful girl, I feel odd. Wonder why that is?

[Years pass]

Philippa: Hi, I have nothing to do with this, really, I just wanted to pop in and point out that I’m totally awesome, and I’m in this book, too. And I also have a pretty rocking love story in this book, which one sould not ignore for the sake of Anne and Gilbert’s little drama. (Oh, and I lent my name to a character in Rampant.) As you were.

Romantic Dude: Why, hello there, Anne. I’m dashing and rich.

Anne: Now this is what I’m talking about. Swoon!

Everyone Else Anne Knows: Sure. Fine. Whatever.

Anne: I’m so happy with my Romantic Dude. Except his taste in flowers is deplorable. Also, I really wish people would stop telling me that Gilbert is engaged to his rich, beautiful girlfriend. Not that I care. I totally don’t. Still,  feel a strange urge to wear the flowers that Gilbert, to whom I have not spoken in ages, randomly sent me this evening, rather than the flowers my boyfriend sent me. It has nothing to do with anything except for my boyfriend’s aforementioned deplorable taste in flowers, I assure you of that. Everyone says that roses are more becoming to me than orchids.

Everyone Else Anne Knows: Riiiiiiight.

Romantic Dude: Oh, Anne: Thou art more fair and lovely still. Will thoust marry me? (I totally know you’re going to say yes.)

Anne: Wait a second, I can’t marry this stick. I’ve been such a fool.

Everyone Else Anne Knows: {forehead slap}

Gilbert: Oops, I studied too hard and am dying. And Anne is engaged to someone else. Oh, woe is me.

Anne: I love Gilbert! Alas, he is dying! Woe is me!

Gilbert: Wait, psych. I’m totally alive. And you’renot engaged!

Anne: Why, hi there, big boy.

Gilbert: We should get married. LIKE I SAID YEARS AGO.

Anne: Yes. I capitulate to your superior understanding in this matter.



Anne: While you are in medical school and we are participating in the longest engagement known to mankind, I shall write you endless, chatty love letters that the author will mysteriously cut from the manuscript.

Gilbert: My fiancee is awesome.

Anne: And since I’m all set up, romantically, I will spend the bulk of this book fixing other people’s problems with my clever and winsome ways.

Gilbert: See? Awesome.



Anne: We’re married and deliriously happy.

Gilbert: Rather.

Leslie: Hi, I’m unutterably miserable and feel a sort of perverse joy that one time that Anne has a miscarriage. But we end up being friends and I get a love story too.



Anne: We’ve been married for years and have a house full of rugrats.

Gilbert: You know it, baby.

Anne and Gilbert’s Rugrats: Hi. The book is really all about us and our misadventures. The title is a misnomer.

[At the very end of the book]

Anne: But wait, one evening Gilbert looks kind of distracted about something — coudln’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that he had two patients die last week — it must be that HE NO LONGER LOVES ME!

Gilbert: Huh?

Anne: In fact, when we go to this party that your rich and beautiful ex-girlfriend will be attending ON OUR ANNIVERSARY, I shall make a point to look as awful and dowdy as possible to prove it.

Gilbert: I’m sorry my dear, did you say something?

Anne: See? I was right! You don’t love me!

Gilbert: Hey, Anne, I got us tickets to Europe.

Anne: What? OMG, I was totally WRONG!


Posted in bookaholic, Uncategorized

36 Responses to The Ballad of Anne and Gilbert

  1. This is hilarious. My sister and I summed up Anne of Green Gables like this:

    Everyone: Anne, we luv you! You are teh best!
    Anne: *does something stupid*
    Everyone: *gasp!* We could lose Anne!
    Anne: *recovers*

    But there are also parts that are like this:

    Person: Anne, I hate you. You have everything. I shall make your life miserable.
    Anne: *sparkle* *wit* *unintentional threats to expose cannibal and/or spankings*
    Person: Oh, Anne! We love you!

  2. Tiff says:

    My favorite part is the Anne of Ingleside part. That name was TOTALLY a misnomer. I was SO ANGRY when I read it as a kid because there wasn’t any Anne in it until the end. And did Gilbert get tickets to Europe? I thought he bought her a diamond necklace (and I was really annoyed about it because he basically threw the package at her when it arrived).

    I heart Phil, by the way. Awesome character. My favorite other than Anne and Gilbert. I also heart Leslie, even though she’s kind of twisted. Call it L.M. Montgomery’s attempt to include some Freud in her novel.

    And you’re totally right–Anne really did screw up her relationship with Gilbert. She’s lucky that he really believed that they were meant to be–I would have left ages ago. =P

  3. Melissa says:

    [giggles madly] As someone who loved the Anne books growing up, and still enjoys them, that’s not to say I’m not above poking fun at them. Because they’re totally just like you laid out. Thanks for the good laugh!

  4. Bill Clark says:

    This is a stitch! As one who has never even cracked open an Anne book (that Y chromosome acting up, I suppose), I now know I don’t have to bother: Diana has summed them all up superbly for me! 🙂

  5. Diana says:

    Courtney: That’s so true! That’s precisely like Anne. Especially that second bit. LOL!

    Tiff: I admit, I never read Ingleside again. In fact, I didn’t even read Rilla of Ingleside, because I was just so mad at Anne’s kids and Ingleside in general. HTough I hear it’s great. Oh, well. Maybe if I can convince myself it’s like a whole other Montgomery story (since I’ve read all the others). But yeah, on top of the diamond necklace, he does announce that they are going on a trip to Europe.

    Phil rocks. that’s why when I named a character Philippa in RAMPANT, I called her “Phil” and not “Pippa.” Also, can’t step on Libba’s toes. 😉

    Melissa, I *adore* the Anne books. I jest in LOVE.

  6. Serenity says:

    Hey – found your post through Rachel Hawkins’ tweet. Excellent sum-up. I can only assume you technically love them too or you wouldn’t still own the copies and you wouldn’t know them so thoroughly that you could sum them up like this. The Philippa part – so funny. She’s one of my favorites too. And to the person who hasn’t read Rilla. You MUST. My life won’t be complete until I’ve seen that baby made into a film. It rocks, rocks, rocks.

  7. Diana says:

    Hi, Serenity! Welcome to the blog. Yes, that’s me in comment #5 who hasn’t read Rilla. I know I should rectify. It’s seriously like my only gap in LM Montgomey.

    If you read yesterday’s post you’ll see I do adore them. Not even technically, Just plain adore. AotI inspired my whole book series. I named one of my characters after Phil.

  8. Katie says:

    Rilla’s one of my all time favorite books.

    Though I, too, was upset the first time I got to Anne of Ingleside and found out it wasn’t about Anne! And Rainbow Valley is even less about her.

  9. Connie says:

    I just picked up Anne of the Island on Sunday and read a little of it. Thank you for sharing, I love those books.

  10. Diana says:

    Right! Rainbow Valley. I started that one, then ditched it because it was more AoI. I think that’s the one where they actually go to Europe and leave the kids behind.

  11. Serenity says:

    Thanks for the welcome, Diana. I figured out that was you after I posted. I’ve added you to my google reader and can’t wait to read more from you. Anne adorers unite. (Your series was inspired by AOTI? You just found yourself another reader.)

  12. Susan Adrian says:

    Oh, my GOD. YES. I’d forgotten all the twists and turns there, but YES.

    I did read all the Ingleside books–I just accepted that they weren’t about Anne. Kind of like reading all the Madeleine L’Engle books about Meg’s kids. I gobbled up everything!

    I’ve got to link to this!

  13. Diana says:

    Susan, I am way behind onf my Ingleside reading. I mean, I love A Wrinkle in Time and all, but I don’t know if I ever finished that series (I think I gave up halfway through Swiftly Tilting because I was weirded out by all the bizarre race references having to do with wide set blue eyes or close set brown eyes or whatever that nonsense was). And I didn’t read the others.

    Still, I loved Many Waters. Especially the bit about the unicorn!

  14. We vacationed in PEI every summer when I was growing up. I thought I had the books (and the musical!) memorized, but while reading your ballad, I was nodding and saying “Oh yeah! I forgot about that…”

    I will have to go home and dig out my tattered copies and journey back to the island of red clay, Anne with an ‘e’, jet-black tresses, cordial, and the ‘depths of despair.’

  15. Susan Adrian says:


    Hmmm, don’t remember the weird racial references, but some of those books do get a little odd. Mostly in a good way. I loved the one with Madog something or other…it had a rhyming poem. I always memorized the rhyming poems!

    And I forgot how much I loved the Anne books. Fortunately I have a full set waiting when Child is old enough!

  16. Jennifer says:

    God, this is perfect.

    I don’t think I liked Anne so much as I liked people like Phil and Leslie and Rilla and Faith, really.

    And Windy Poplars made me want to throw it against a tree. How DARE SHE not put so much as a snippet of romance in that book?!

  17. Nelly says:

    I think I loved Gilbert so much because he loved Anne even all those times I wanted to just shake some sense into her. I couldn’t believe she turned Gilbert down in the orchard!! Granted, there wouldn’t have been a story if she had accepted but OMG I was so mad at her for it.

    I have to admit, as much as I love the series, it starts going downhill for me after Anne of the Island. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good and well written, it’s just that the “conflict” that was three books in the making was solved in a satisfactory manner. Even though AoGG and AoA aren’t about Anne + Gilbert-they are about Anne’s growing up, I for one believe that Anne’s reaching of maturity manifested itself in her acceptance of Gilbert’s proposal. And even though I find the continuation of her story interesting, I’m not as invested anymore, already having been satisfied. Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility and all that…

    But I have to second (or third) the motion that you read Rilla of Ingleside Diana. It’s not like Rainbow Valley at all, and if you read it like a separate entity it’s actually a really good book.

  18. Thea says:

    LOL. This is awesome. I haven’t read these books or rewatched the tv-movies in ages!

    Thanks for that…and I’ll have you know I just spent about 20 minutes trying to find my cover version of Anne of Green Gables. *glares at Diana* Lucky I found it, or the day would have been ruined…LOL.


  19. Patrick says:

    *Must remember that tickets to Europe cure everything*

    Just to clarify, that’s the continent, not the rock band, right?

  20. PurpleRanger says:

    So, this is the Reader’s Digest Condensed version of the whole series?

  21. Jill says:

    Directed here via Justine’s Twitter!

    I haven’t read the Anne books in for-freaking-ever, but this post has both reminded me how ridiculous they are and how much I want to read them! (Although I don’t actually think I ever finished Rainbow Valley. I got 2/3 of the way through and gave up. Granted, I was only about ten.)

    Rilla of Ingleside, OTOH, I remember as actually being really good.

  22. Shoshana says:


    -die-hard Anne fan

  23. Tiff says:

    Diana, I highly recommend Rilla. Like everyone else said, just treat it as a separate entity, and it totally works.

    I skipped Rainbow Valley entirely. I couldn’t even pick it up after my anger at Anne of Ingleside. I also only read Anne of Windy Poplars once because I was so bored by the non-romance, and the (IMHO) forced epistolary mode.

    By the way, if you’re going to read some Madeleine L’Engle and you find the Murry-O’Keefe series a bit weird, try reading A Ring of Endless Light. It has all the science-y stuff in a much less crazy way. Also, it’s just awesome. There’s a reason why it’s still my favorite YA book. It inspired me to become a marine biologist for awhile =P

  24. Aimee says:

    Thank you for this. I laughed. A LOT. I read the Anne books when my family were on exchange in Canada for a year (when I was 7) and I have never forgiven my mother for not taking me to PEI.

    Rilla of Ingleside is very excellent. Everything I know about World War I, I learnt from that. And Rilla is a neat character.

  25. Linda Shaw says:

    My daughter pointed me to this entry. Loved your summary. I loved, loved, loved these books as a child. I watched the TV series again this winter. I don’t think I’ve read Rilla of Ingleside. I remember reading a book (50 yrs. ago or so) that had Anne as a middle-aged or older widow. I really hated it …too sad. Has anyone else encountered that book? Was it by L.M. Montgomery? What was the title? I might enjoy it now as I am a widow…then I was a teenager.

  26. Shannon says:


    I haven’t posted in a long while, but wow I love that breakdown of Anne and Gilbert!

  27. Too funny. I always found Anne a bit annoying to be honest. Much preferred Emily of New Moon. I will never forget the scene where her relative sends out her manuscript to a publisher in the completely wrong way – no query, just in a box, sent) and that’s what finally gets her published after a ton of rejections. Totally made me want to be a writer! 🙂

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  31. JJ says:

    Oh this post is win. WIN. I actually counted the proposals Anne receives in ANNE OF THE ISLAND and it’s 6.

    1. Billy Andrews
    2. Charlie Sloan
    3. Gilbert Blythe
    4. Random hick dude during that summer she was teaching

    “Will yeh hev me?”

    “Wh — a — t!” gasped Anne.

    “Will yeh hev me?”

    “Do you mean — MARRY you?” queried poor Anne feebly.


    “Why, I’m hardly acquainted with you,” cried Anne indignantly.

    “But yeh’d git acquainted with me after we was married,” said Sam.

    5. Roy Gardner
    6. Gilbert Blythe

    Heart this book to pieces.

  32. Karen says:

    I laughed SO Hard at this!
    I heart Gilbert!

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  36. Katherine says:

    i don’t think they would ever fight like this but… LOL