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Anne of Avonlea is a 1909 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery (published as L. M. Montgomery).

Anne of Avonlea
First edition
AuthorLucy Maud Montgomery
SeriesAnne of Green Gables
GenreCanadian literature, children's literature
PublisherL. C. Page & Co.
Publication date
Preceded byAnne of Green Gables 
Followed byAnne of the Island 

Plot introductionEdit

Following Anne of Green Gables (1908), the book covers the second chapter in the life of Anne Shirley. This book follows Anne from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea school. It includes many of the characters from Anne of Green Gables, as well as new ones like Mr. Harrison, Miss Lavendar Lewis, Paul Irving, and the twins Dora and Davy.

Explanation of the novel's titleEdit

The book's title is fitting, as Anne is no longer simply "of Green Gables" as she was in the previous book, but now takes her place among the "important" people (and the "grown up" people) of Avonlea society, as its only schoolteacher. She is also a founding member of the A.V.I.S. (the Avonlea Village Improvement Society), which tries to improve (with questionable results) the Avonlea landscape.


Montgomery had brought up with a traditional Scots Presbyterian education.[1] John Knox's famous dictum "A school in every village, a college in every town" had been embraced by the Presbyterian church, and Montgomery was brought up in a culture that greatly valued education.[2] At the same time, Montgomery's education had been extremely disciplinarian.[3] Montgomery had followed the theories of educational reformers like John Dewey, and this tension between traditional education vs. the new theories was reflected in Anne of Avonlea as Anne spends much time arguing about the merits of whipping students. vs persuasion as teaching methods.[4] In the book, Anne has her students write essays about their thoughts and feelings in place of rote learning.[5]

Plot summaryEdit

Anne is about to start her first term teaching at the Avonlea school, although she will still continue her studies at home with Gilbert, who is teaching at the nearby White Sands School. The book soon introduces Anne's new and problematic neighbor, Mr. Harrison, and his foul-mouthed parrot, as well as the twins, Davy and Dora. They are the children of Marilla's third cousin and she takes them in when their mother dies while their uncle is out of the country. Dora is a nice, well-behaved girl, somewhat boring in her perfect behaviour. Davy is Dora's exact opposite, much more of a handful and constantly getting into many scrapes. They are initially meant to stay only a short time, but the twins' uncle postpones his return to collect the twins and then eventually dies. Both Anne and Marilla are relieved (Marilla inwardly, of course) to know the twins will remain with them.

Other characters introduced are some of Anne's new pupils, such as Paul Irving, an American boy living with his grandmother in Avonlea while his widower father works in the States. He delights Anne with his imagination and whimsical ways, which are reminiscent of Anne's in her childhood. Later in the book, Anne and her friends meet Miss Lavendar Lewis, a sweet but lonely lady in her 40s who had been engaged to Paul's father 25 years before, but parted from him after a disagreement. At the end of the book, Mr. Irving returns and he and Miss Lavendar marry.

Anne discovers the delights and troubles of being a teacher, takes part in the raising of Davy and Dora, and organizes the A.V.I.S. (Avonlea Village Improvement Society) together with Gilbert, Diana, and Fred Wright, though their efforts to improve the town are not always successful. The Society takes up a subscription to repaint an old town hall, only to have the painter provide the wrong color of paint, turning the hall into a bright blue eyesore.

Towards the end of the book, Mrs. Rachel Lynde's husband dies and Mrs. Lynde moves in with Marilla at Green Gables, allowing Anne to go to college at last. She and Gilbert make plans to attend Redmond College in the fall.

This book sees Anne maturing slightly, even though she still cannot avoid getting into a number of her familiar scrapes, as only Anne can—some of which include selling her neighbor's cow (having mistaken it for her own), or getting stuck in a broken duck house roof while peeping into a pantry window.


Anne Shirley - Once a spunky, carrot-headed, freckled orphan, Anne has grown up and now serves as the teacher of the Avonlea school. She still has not lost her imaginative, creative spirit. She is a redhead that stands out from everyone else and adapts to her new atmosphere in "Anne of Green Gables".

Marilla Cuthbert - The woman who took Anne in five years before, along with her late brother Matthew. Marilla now gets along with Anne much better.

Gilbert Blythe - Anne's childhood enemy and now good friend. Gilbert is also a teacher at the nearby White Sands School. He is in love with Anne but does not yet admit it to her.

Diana Barry - Anne's black haired bosom friend since childhood. The two remain best friends.

Rachel Lynde - Marilla's best friend and neighbour, an outspoken and opinionated, but well-intentioned woman. Though she still argues with Anne, she is genuinely fond of her.

Davy Keith - One of the twins whom Marilla takes in. Davy is mischievous, naughty, loves to eat sweets and rarely does what he is told. He has fair, fuzzy ringlets all over his head, one dimple, roguish hazel eyes, a snub nose and is often smiling.

Dora Keith - Dora, Davy's sister, is completely the contrary. She does everything she is told without mistake and is very docile. She has fair, long, sleek curls, mild hazel eyes, a straight nose and "prunes and prisms" mouth.

Jane Andrews - Anne's childhood friend, also a teacher at the Newbridge School.

Fred Wright - A friend of Gilbert's, who plans to follow in his father's footsteps as a farmer. Is in love with Diana, and eventually becomes engaged to her although he falls short of her and Anne's vision of an ideal husband.

Mr. J.A. Harrison - Anne and Marilla's new neighbor, a man who initially appears bad-tempered, but becomes a good friend of Anne's with his grounded and practical attitude. He has a very rude parrot named Ginger who died later on because of a hailstorm.

Paul Irving - One of Anne's students, an imaginative young boy and a fast friend for Anne. He was raised in the United States and has come to Avonlea to live with his paternal grandmother.

Anthony Pye - another of Anne's students, and initially her most difficult. He tests Anne's patience to the point that she finally snaps and gives him a whipping, and although she is horrified at herself afterwards, she does win his respect, and his behavior improves.

Miss Lavendar Lewis - An imaginative, attractive, old maid with snow white hair who Anne and Diana come across on their way to a friend's place. She lives in Echo Lodge. She also becomes good friends with Anne.

Charlotta the Fourth - Miss Lavender's maid. Her real name is Leonora and she is the youngest of four girls who have all been employed by Miss Lavendar. Her eldest sister was named Charlotta and Miss Lavender kept referring to Charlotta's three sisters as "Charlotta" as well. Charlotta is well-meaning, but a bit odd, and addresses everyone as either "Sir" or "Ma'am".

Stephen Irving - Paul's father and Miss Lavendar's sweetheart from her youth. The two had an argument before Paul was born and Mr. Irving left for the States and married Paul's mother. They are once again reconciled by Anne many years after Mr. Irving's first wife's death.

Priscilla Grant- An old classmate of Anne's from Queens Academy.


Montgomery continued the story of Anne Shirley in a series of sequels. They are listed in the order of Anne's age in each novel.

Lucy Maud Montgomery's books on Anne Shirley
# Book Date published Anne Shirley's age
1 Anne of Green Gables 1908 11 – 16
2 Anne of Avonlea 1909 16 – 18
3 Anne of the Island 1915 18 – 22
4 Anne of Windy Poplars 1936 22 – 25
5 Anne's House of Dreams 1917 25 – 27
6 Anne of Ingleside 1939 34 – 40
7 Rainbow Valley 1919 41—48
8 Rilla of Ingleside 1921 49 – 53
Related books in which Anne Shirley plays a lesser part
# Book Date published Anne Shirley's age
Chronicles of Avonlea 1912
Further Chronicles of Avonlea 1920
The Blythes Are Quoted 2009

Film, TV or theatrical adaptationsEdit

The book formed the basis for the 1987 CBC Television miniseries Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, which aired as Anne of Avonlea on the Disney Channel in the United States, and also included material from Anne of the Island and Anne of Windy Poplars.

This book along with Anne of the Island formed the basis of the musical Anne & Gilbert.[6]


  1. ^ Waterson, Elizabeth Magic Island, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008 page 22.
  2. ^ Waterson, Elizabeth Magic Island, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008 page 22.
  3. ^ Waterson, Elizabeth Magic Island, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008 page 22.
  4. ^ Waterson, Elizabeth Magic Island, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008 page 22.
  5. ^ Waterson, Elizabeth Magic Island, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008 page 22.
  6. ^ "Anne and Gilbert production website". Archived from the original on 2013-06-09.

External linksEdit