Stepping into Anne's world

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Like so many other girls around the world, at a very young age I fell under the spell of Anne Shirley, better known to most as Anne of Green Gables. Anne’s use of excruitatingly big words and her constant striving to stay out of trouble, revealed itself to me not only through her books but in Megan Follows portrayal of her in the movie. Including a visit to Prince Edward Island while on our summer trip east was therefore going to be a definite highlight for me, despite Alex telling me over and over that she is only a fictional character. From the moment we arrived on PEI, my mind would wander to imaginings of Anne walking along Lovers lane or through the haunted woods and my anticipation of actually going to the real house where she lived grew greater.

Till this point, the author Lucy Maud Montgomery, played little or no part in this world of Anne that I came to love. That is until we actually visited the Anne of Green Gables House. I won’t say I was disappointed, but rather a paradigm shift was taking place. Whilst Lucy Maud did in fact visit this particular house as a young girl from time to time, it was actually her love of the surrounding area and her connection with nature that nurtured the seed of Anne Shirley. The longer we stayed at the Anne of Green gables tourist attraction, the more it became obvious that it was not Anne but rather Lucy who was real. It was Lucy who coined the name Lovers Lane and we were able to walk along this 1km path where plaques along the way would tell us of her deep personal connection with this part of the island.

From here we explored more of LM Montgomery’s life, visiting the site of where she grew up as well as her final resting place in the Cavendish cemetery. I guess Alex was right in a way, that despite the huge array of ‘Anne’ souvenirs available for purchase (including AofGG toenail clippers!) and the huge focus of Anne in tourism throughout the island, she was not a real person. I feel very fortunate though to have shared in some of the life of Lucy Maud Montgomery - the person who was in fact real, and the person who made Anne very real to me.

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