Anne of Green Gables is a novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Written for all ages, it has been considered a children's novel since the mid-twentieth century. It recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who had intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in Prince Edward Island. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.
Since its publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. Montgomery wrote numerous sequels, and since her death, another sequel has been published, as well as an authorized prequel. The original book is taught to students around the world.
The book has been adapted as films, made-for-television movies, and animated and live-action television series. Musicals and plays have also been created, with productions annually in Canada since 1964 of the first musical production, which has toured in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan.
Anne Shirley, a young orphan from the fictional community of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia (based upon the real community of New London, Prince Edward Island), is sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their fifties and sixties after a childhood spent in strangers' homes and orphanages. Marilla and Matthew had originally decided to adopt a boy from the orphanage to help Matthew run their farm at Green Gables, which is set in the fictional city of Avonlea. Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne instead.
Anne is highly imaginative, eager to please and quite dramatic at times. However, she is very vain, despising her red hair and pale, thin frame, and is often quite talkative, especially when it comes to describing her fantasies and dreams. At first, stern and sharp Marilla says Anne must return to the orphanage, but after much observation and considering, along with Matthew's newly-found strong liking to Anne, she decides to let her stay.
As a child of imagination, Anne takes much joy in life and adapts quickly, thriving in the close-knit farming village. Her imagination and talkativeness soon brighten up Green Gables.