|About this Recording
NA212312 - MONTGOMERY, L.M.: Anne of Green Gables (Abridged)
Anne of Green Gables was written in 1908 and has, along with the
succeeding volumes Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island, charmed
millions of readers across the world, remaining even now a children’s
Anne Shirley begins her fictional life as an eleven-year-old orphan,
with bright red hair, a mass of freckles and a passionate imagination matched only by her passionate temper. She ends the book as a gentle, intelligent and elegant young woman with a future before her that she could only have dreamt of.
Her adopted parents, elderly brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, don’t know what they have let themselves in for when the ‘boy’ they asked for to help on their farm turns out to be Anne. But as Matthew later puts it, “It was Providence, because the Almighty saw we needed her, I reckon” for before long, Anne has won their hearts and an important place in the small Avonlea community.
The story covers various adolescent adventures: making new friends, accidentally getting one of them drunk, dying her hair, breaking her leg, saving someone’s life, and being wooed by the school heartthrob Gilbert Blythe. Tragedy touches her life too, with the death of her beloved Matthew, and step-by-step she is confronted with the responsibilities of the adult world. But Anne being Anne, challenges are there to be faced, and everything that happens, good or bad, is part of life’s rich tapestry.
Against all odds — her humble beginnings, her poverty, and the extreme hardship which she encounters before the Cuthberts enter her
life —Anne’s natural intelligence and diligence take her to the top of the
class at school and on the Island, and onto college, the sought-after Avery scholarship and a glittering future. She is a true working-class heroine.
But, being as compassionate as she is clever, Anne alters her plans to remain with Marilla, now all alone and nearly blind, and the story ends with both family and career concerns harmoniously reconciled.
Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in Clifton, on Prince Edward Island in Canada, in 1874. Her life shows various parallels with Anne’s. She spent her youth on Prince Edward Island and attended the Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown before leaving the island to go to college in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After completing her education, she returned home to become a teacher and care for her sick grandmother for thirteen years. She later married the Rev. Ewan Macdonald, a Presbyterian minister, and moved to Leeksdale, Ontario where she began writing Anne of Green Gables as a serial for a Sunday school newspaper. It was an instant success, and was followed by a whole series of “Anne” novels, (beginning with Anne of Avonlea) in which the eponymous heroine becomes a teacher, marries Gilbert Blythe and has several children whose own adventures are described in later novels. The series ends with the First World War, in which one of Anne’s sons loses his life.
Notes by Anna Britten
Canadian born, Liza Ross has worked in London’s West End and in repertory across Great Britain, including plays such as Wings and The Front Page at the Royal National Theatre. Her many television appearances include After the War, Poor Little Rich Girl, Two’s Company and The Month of the Doctors. Her film work includes Batman and The Shadowchasers and she has worked extensively as a voice artist.
The music on this cassette is taken from the NAXOS catalog
COPLAND APPALACHIAN SPRING 8.550282
Czecho-Slovak RSO/Stephen Gunzenhauser
DVORAK SYMPHONY NO. 9 “FROM THE NEW WORLD” 8.550271
Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/Stephen Gunzenhauser
GRIEG PIANO MUSIC VOL. 3 8.550883
Einar Steen-Nokleberg, Piano
Music Programming by Anna Britten
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