Of Course You Can Buy This

by Erin on January 28, 2010

So a brief mention of goings-on in Avonlea in yesterday's post made me start thinking about all the dresses in the Anne books (one of which I posted about the VERY FIRST month I blogged) and that led me to this, Anne's wedding dress.


Anne of Green Gables Wedding Dress

I think this is from the widely panned miniseries/movie that I haven't seen, and not the actual books, but no matter. It's still pretty! (Click on the image to visit the Sullivan entertainment site, where the pattern is for sale.)

It would be well-nigh impossible for me to tally up all the hours I spent reading about Anne and Gilbert [heavy sigh]. Who's with me in still not-so-secretly thinking that Gilbert Blythe is one of the best too-good-to-be-true romantic heroes of girlhood literature? (And he's not even a vampire! Take that, Twihards!)

(I now feel a compulsion to watch that movie, despite the fact that it's not based a) on the books or b) set in Canada or c) in even remotely the same time period. Given all that, is it worth it?)

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne Earley January 28, 2010 at 6:54 am

Oh Gilbert. Sigh. And the actor that plays him in the miniseries fit exactly what I thought he should be…Id say, though, that that continuing story movie really was THAT bad, and would only ruin your good mood.Id rewatch the original miniseries if I really needed a fix. Or dig out the books!

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Latter-Day Flapper January 28, 2010 at 7:01 am

Sorry, but the history nerd in me is tearing her hair: Back zipper! Back %$#@!! zipper!! Could they not even approximate a historical fastening method??

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Anonymous January 28, 2010 at 7:11 am

Gilbert is like a cute, teenage Mr. Darcy — frustrating, confusing, magnetic and thankfully, eventually attainable!Agree — ick to zipper. But that could be replaced with long line of buttons/loops.

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Joni January 28, 2010 at 7:14 am

Oh Erin, if you havent already, you MUST read The Blue Castle – its L. M. Montgomerys unappreciated masterpiece, one of her few books for adults (and the only one not set on PEI). Clothes are very important in that book as well, and there is an almost sensual description of a GREEN dress which the heroine buys in a fit of frivolity, and then almost chickens out and doesnt wear it, then gets ahold of her good senses and goes ahead and wears it anyway, despite its daringly low neckline. And if youre looking for Romantic Heroes… well, Barney Snaith is so sexy he makes Gilbert Blythe look like Mr. Magoo.[/gushing]

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Anonymous January 28, 2010 at 7:39 am

(a) gotta read Blue Castle for the experience of reading about a SEXY dude named Barney.(b) that dress pattern is 50 smackers! Wow. Thats their option, of course, but still, a vintage pattern from the same era would be about the same price.AKL

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Anonymous January 28, 2010 at 7:53 am

Yes, the Anne continuing story was terribly disappointing in its complete disregard for making any sense at all. Still, it was a little entertaining if you dropped any positive expectations and just watched the crazy plot twists that Sullivan invented.Theres even a newer one in the series that I couldnt get through, called A New Beginning, that apparently showed on TV in 2008 and is now on DVD. Megan Follows no longer stars, though.Something a little closer to the original Anne series to watch is the Road to Avonlea TV series from the 90s. It also takes place on PEI and was done by Sullivan (and is very loosely L.M. Montgomery-based). There are period clothes aplenty to obsess over. (And Marilla and Rachel Lynde show up a few times, as well.)

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brocadegoddess January 28, 2010 at 8:00 am

I have loved Anne since I was a very little girl. I went on a trip to PEI when I was 8 and spent the entire time in transports of delight, lol.All I can say about the Continuing Story abomination (which I refuse to touch with a 39 1/2 ft pole) is that Megan Follows mustve really needed the money or something. Pity, the first two are so spectacular.And – if I get super nerdy about it all – theres a discontinuity problem with it. In the tv series Road to Avonlea, which takes place c. 1900, theres an episode where Gilbert comes back. The episode marked the passing of actress Colleen Dewhurst (Marilla), and Gilbert comes back to settle things about Green Gables. Anne apparently couldnt come because the new baby was jaundiced – thus, she and Gilbert were already married.Im a bit embarassed about admitting here that I noticed this, but it irks me just the same.

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peanut January 28, 2010 at 8:04 am

Ive never watch continuing story because even the previews looked too far off the mark but I love to watch the first two movies (the second one is kind of a mish-mash but Ill forgive them that because its still based on the books and its got Anne and Gilbert at the end just like it should) and I read the books like comfort food.Ive never heard of Blue Castle and will have to look it up.Everytime I watch these movies (or read the books) I dream of making up some of the clothes. Some year Ill do Victorian School Maam for Halloween and have my wish :)

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Joni January 28, 2010 at 8:05 am

From The Blue Castle. Barney Snaith:His eyes, which she had always thought brown, now seen close were deep violet – translucent and intense. Neither of his eyebrows looked like the other. He was thin – too thin – she wished she could feed him up a bit – she wished she could sew the buttons on his coat – and make him cut his hair – and shave every day. There was something in his face – one hardly knew what it was. Tiredness? Sadness? Disillusionment? He had dimples in his thin cheeks when he smiled. All these thoughts flashed through Valancys mind in that one moment while his eyes looked into hers.Valancy (!) buys a dress:When Abel Gay paid Valancy her first months wages – which he did promptly, in bills reeking with the odour of tobacco and whiskey – Valancy went into Deerwood and spent every cent of it. She got a pretty green crepe dress with a girdle of crimson beads, at a bargain sale, a pair of silk stockings to match, and a little crinkled green hat with a crimson rose in it. She even bought a foolish little beribboned and belaced nightgown.Valancy almost chickens out while dressing for a dance:She went into her room to dress. A rage against the snuff-brown silk seized her. Wear that to a party! Never. She pulled her green crepe from its hanger and put it on feverishly. It was nonsense to feel so – so – naked – just because her neck and arms were bare. That was just her old-maideshness. She would not be ridden by it. On went the dress – the slippers.It was the first time she had worn a pretty dress since the organdies of her early teens. And they had never made her look like this.If only she had a necklace or something. She wouldnt feel so bare then. She ran down to the garden. There were clovers there – great crimson growing things growing in the long grass. Valancy gathered handfuls of them and strung them on a cord. Fastened above her neck they gave her the comfortable sensation of a collar and were oddly becoming. Another circlet of them went round her hair, dressed. in the low puffs that became her.Excitement brought those faint pink stains to her face. She flung on her coat and pulled the little, twisty hat over her hair.You look so nice and – and – different, dear, said Cissy. Like a green moonbeam with a gleam of red in it, if there could be such a thing.[Ive always wanted to know what that green dress of Valancys looked like! The book was written in 1926, but Im not too familiar with the styles of that time. And now, Erin, I PROMISE I will stop taking over your blog with my literary obsession!]

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Packrat January 28, 2010 at 8:15 am

Oh, watch it anyway. :) Read Blue Castles. Gilbert – sigh. lol

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Rachel January 28, 2010 at 8:26 am

Yes, it IS that bad. Only watch it if you are able to pretend that it is a completely separate movie about characters youve never met before, and even then its not that good.But Ill 5th(?) the motion for Blue Castle. It may be my favorite.

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SarahA January 28, 2010 at 8:29 am

I never saw that movie but I like this 4 hour one: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088727/I adore Anne but I also got very into the Emily books. She was everything I always wanted to be.

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Holly January 28, 2010 at 8:44 am

the original miniseries was fantastic. i watched it so many times when i was little i can talk along with the characters. been putting off the new one.. im scared.

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Wearing History January 28, 2010 at 9:08 am

Oh yay! LM Montgomery is my favorite authoress. Anne was everything I hoped Id grow up to be. *sigh*I think the movies fun if you realize its NOT LM Montgomery but inspired. Kind of like vintage inspired, at times fun and cute, but at times so totally off the mark. Just watch it as if there werent prequels and its a bit of fluff to be amused by. Haha.The pattern is fun simply because my inner Anne dork says I want it, but I think Ill wait for a repro for similar lines :)

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The Hillbilly Banjo Queen: January 28, 2010 at 9:12 am

The 3rd installment was a disappointment, but I still loved seeing all the old characters and looking at what they were wearing. It wasnt totally horrible, just suprisingly off track. But since you know it is way off track with regards to story line, etc (something I did not know when I watched it) maybe it will be far less disappointing for you.

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Jen January 28, 2010 at 9:15 am

Joni: Heres a few pages of 1926 dresses from a catalog of the day. Just choose a short sleeved style, and green it up!http://looky.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/1926-dress-designs/

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Joni January 28, 2010 at 9:21 am

@Jen: Oh, my.(Charming frocks designed for clever fingers! Yes, please!)The dress Erin showed rather reminds me of this one:http://www.sensibility.com/pattern/teagownpatterncover.jpgwhich has the advantage of being far more historically accurate (werent those awful Anne followups supposed to be set around WWI? You know, the war that ANNES SONS fought in?) and is cheaper, to boot.

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Liz in Ypsilanti January 28, 2010 at 9:40 am

I loved Anne as a girl and rediscovered her in my late 20s/early 30s (the Avonlea series was on). I read every single Anne book and then started reading all of the other LMM books I could find. I will look up Blue Castle. I made my pilgrimage to PEI in the mid-1990s (my mid-30s) and spent a couple of delicious days wallowing in the wonderfulness of it all. (I didnt watch the miniseries/movie for the reasons noted by others.)

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Gail January 28, 2010 at 10:07 am

I still reread all of the Anne series every few years. I own all of them and any other L. M. Montgomery book that I can find. Anne is still my favorite role model. Like others here, I think Blue Castle is a wonderful book.

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Anonymous January 28, 2010 at 10:08 am

One of the reasons this is my favorite blog is comments like these above. Fun! fun! fun!….thanks everyone! Kim

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Sonia January 28, 2010 at 10:58 am

Very romantic! Kind of reminds me of Natayas designs. Do you know her work? Some of it is a little too artsy for me but her Victorian/Edwardian lines are gorgeous!

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Val January 28, 2010 at 11:36 am

My best friends e-mail address used to be Gilbertsgirl. She always swore that he was the closest thing to the perfect man.

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WendyBee January 28, 2010 at 11:43 am

Uh oh……..I feel a LM Montgomery binge coming on. Ill have to hook up the VCR, so I can re-watch all the tapes. And get out the books, this could keep me entertained for weeks, as fillers when Turner Classic Movies is showing Westerns or movies not made before 1965 or something that Im just not interested in. There is a story (probable myth)in our family about being related to LMM. Who knows…who cares. What we love about her is her wonderful stories and they belong to everyone.Thanks for the inspiration!WendyBee

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Always A Lady January 28, 2010 at 11:44 am

Dont watch that movie. Its not worth your time. I LOVE Anne, so much so I want to name my first born girl after her, but that third movie was awful.

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geogrrl January 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Oh, yeah. Gilbert was great.Although for me it was Barney Snaith/Redfern from The Blue Castle. My favourite.In non-LMM books, Lord Peter Wimsey.

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Sarah January 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Oh, Gilbert Blythe. *sigh* The ultimate romantic hero. Anything Anne and Avonlea related is worth it, in my opinion. It was nice to see Anne Gilbert again in the third movie, even if the plot was completely improbable. Its still Anne Gilbert and Annes fanastic clothes.Time to dig out the Anne books movies for an Avonlea fest! :)

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Suzette January 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I had a crush on Alonso, from the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

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geogrrl January 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm

@ Joni:What about the scene where Barney got Valancy out of that dance? I loved that. Barney wasnt in love with her at the time, but he was concerned and came and got her.Although Ive always thought if things got really bad that Roaring Abel would have waded in.

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dulcet January 28, 2010 at 12:51 pm

When I saw that pattern I gasped! Back in junior high, my best friend and I would write notes to each other as Anne and Diana. She was Anne because she had red hair and her real name also started with an A. My name starts with D, so we just had to take on their characters! What fun memories!

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Joni January 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Yes, especially because he shows up looking his usual disreputable self, and after shes done being relieved that Barney came and got her, in the next moment Valancy is secretly annoyed with him for showing up unshaved! I like Gilbert Blythe just fine, but I am a sucker for the sexy scruff, and Barney Snaith just brings it.Almanzo Wilder: also hot.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almanzo_Wilder

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Anan January 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I dream about Gilbert sometimes.

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Melissa Officinalis January 28, 2010 at 3:40 pm

The Continuing Story was simply dreadful. Watch it on YouTube if you must, just to decide what you think, but otherwise leave it be. Bring some hand sewing so that your brain has something else to do.Ive made one dress from the turn of the 20th century, and have been toying with the idea of something from the 20s. I love the layers, and the overall graceful lines.

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Gracie January 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Oh my goodness!! I thought I was the only Blue Castle devotee out there, my copy is falling to bits!My darling hubby even read it just to know what I was going on about. And even said he enjoyed it :-) Hes a bit of a softie at heart…I refuse to watch any of the Anne films, I dont want my imagined landscapes changed in any way.Didnt you love the dress she wore when she was at Redmond? The one that was embroidered with rosebuds. I would love one like that…

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Sheena January 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm

The Continuing Story wasnt just stupid; it was also super weird. Ive never even heard of Blue Castles before; guess I know what Im checking out from the library next. And a big giant thank you to the Almanzo Wilder wikipedia link; he was even hotter in real life than I had pictured in my mind! Wish Id had that picture in Jr High; I would have hung it up in my locker!

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Sara January 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Now that is a nice dress!

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Flo January 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I read the entire series, all 8 books, every summer for years…

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Tampopo January 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Ahhh…I chuckled at your avonlea reference yesterday, and was tickled by the subsequent outpouring of love! I am from PEI, and of course grew up reading everything L.M Montgomery wrote- oh the romance of Barney Snaith to the moody teenage girl! I heartily recommend some of her adult short stories too- the insight into human nature can be quite Austen-y!And of course every summer we would go see Anne of Green Gables the musical, and watch the circulation of the costumes from year to year (hey, didnt Mrs. Blewett wear Marillas dress last year?I got to wear one lovely yellow and white-striped puff sleeve number, borrowed for a drama class production there one year! Maybe why I still love yellow striped dresses and billowy white petticoats!yay shout-out-to L.M Montgomery!

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jessica January 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Oh, Gilbert … *swoon.* I totally agree with the comment abovce about rereading the series every few years and that she is still my favorite female role model.

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Cisa January 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Funny you should mention Anne and Avonlea so much recently. I just started reading Anne of Green Gables for very first time ever! Somehow Ive made it all the way to adulthood owning all the books and never once reading them!

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Louise January 29, 2010 at 2:39 am

I agree with Joni. The Blue Castle is great. In fact I was obsessed with all the LM Montgomery books during my childhood. I also concur with the people that said dont watch the Continuing Story. It is truly awful and completely irrelevant to the books. I didnt even finish it.The scene in the Sequel TV series where Anne runs after Gilbert to say goodbye to him on the train gets me everytime. He is gorgeous.

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silver visions January 29, 2010 at 2:59 am

Oooh the Anne books! The chapter Matthew insists on puffed sleeves opened my eyes to the soul-reaching possibilities of beautiful design and the power of dressmaking – I must have been about 8 or 9 at the time and still have a good cry when Anne is presented with her first beautiful dress.Aside from the squared neckline the wedding dress reminds me very much of my Grandmothers from the 1920s (to have had two adult sons at the start of the Great War, and to have lost a baby before Jem, Anne and Gilbert must have been married around the early 1890s), if I could justify spending that much on a pattern Id make it in deep green and wear it in a heartbeat.

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Anonymous January 29, 2010 at 7:39 am

The Blue Castle Is at this link: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200951h.htmlAvailable online for free. From the size of the file, I think it is the entire book. I now want to dig around and see what else Project Gutenberg Australia has to offer.AKL

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AmandaMay January 29, 2010 at 11:58 am

I never saw any of the movies/tv series but Gilbert from the books is still my romantic hero. I loved all of those Anne books so much. Should probably read them again.

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Virginia January 29, 2010 at 1:25 pm

In the books, wasnt Annes wedding dress made of a fabric that Anne called illusion and Marilla called cheesecloth? Ive always envisioned it as being very soft and floaty, with a long full skirt. I wonder if theres a good illustration of it anywhere.

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Joni January 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I could see Anne Shirley getting married in this one:http://www.pastpatterns.com/301.htmlSince we know how she feels about the big sleeves.

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Anonymous January 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I love Lucy Maud Montgomery! There has recently been a book released called The Blythes Are Quoted which contains stories about people in some way linked to the Blythes, and vignettes and poems attributed to Anne and Walter. It was apparently finished just before LMMs death and was never published as she meant it to be- the vignettes were removed and (most of)the stories published as The Road to Yesterday. Gilbert is definitely swoon-worthy…but I find the almost-love story between Una and Walter in Rilla of Ingleside to be the most poignant…

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Hazel January 29, 2010 at 2:20 pm

You must, as several people have said, see the first part of the tv series but dont, under any circumstances go any further unless you want to end up throwing something at the screen. Anyone who has read, and loved, Anne will hate it.

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MJ January 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Once, I worked out the chronology of the Anne books- there is no way you could convincingly portray the giant leaps in time that LMM took in the series. For Anne to have a 20-ish son in 1914 she had to have been born way earlier than the first stories showed. Were talking different periods here, she was fully Edwardian, not Victorian. I think this is a major reason why the producers of the Continuing Story installment changed the story so very, very much. After showing Anne coming of age in the 1900s, it would be really pushing it to show her adult children the next decade! Anyway, after accepting that, I went ahead and watched the movie. It was still not very good.

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Anonymous January 30, 2010 at 7:49 am

HUGE thanks to Anonymous AKL for posting the link to The Blue Castle. I stayed up all night reading it from start to finish. What fun! And ooh, Barney seems really dreamy!L, longtime lurker

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Anonymous January 30, 2010 at 8:55 am

I agree with MJ – theres no good way to set up a proper timeline with the Anne books, but that third movie is an ABOMINATION. I got the series on DVD because my VHS copies were dying and found that the quality of the DVDs is horrible (worse than the VHS version, even my very old copies) and that the third movie was so horrific I had to do sudoku to get through it. I gave that to the library the week I got the set. Seriously, WHO KILLS OFF FRED? Poor Fred. And why the marital angst and the trashing of Green Gables and all of it? I wish I could remove it from my memory. I had to re-read all my LMM this summer to try to wipe it away.

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Kristen January 30, 2010 at 9:17 am

do.not.watch.it. You will never be able to get its awfulness out of your head! Gilbert IS the perfect romantic girl hero. But yes, we definitely grow into longing for Barney Snaith!! Love that book!

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Anonymous January 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Loved Anne. Trying to get my daughter (age 12) to read the Avonlea books and leave Twilight behind!Rena

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Joni January 30, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I think this may be my favorite DaD comments section ever! Im such a fan of The Blue Castle, I am always evangelizing about it to other fans of books (and squee with delight on discovering other people who know of it.) Much like, actually, the way I am always telling people to read Dress a Day!

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Anonymous January 30, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Im going home to …s place,

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jen January 31, 2010 at 10:31 am

i love anne and are still able to make connections to the books in my day to day life. (like when im blue im always in the depths of despair.) and i would almost always watch the movies (with megan follows) while i worked on my sewing projects back in high school. in fact, the tapes became stretched out from being watched so much! (ive been meaning to get the dvds…)i read the 1st 3 twilight books and while found them to be entertaining (in a guilt pleasure, romance novel kind of way) they pale in comparison to the anne books. (hahaaha, get it – pale? vampire?)have you ever read the emily books? those are wonderful too.

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greenie February 1, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Just pretend the movie isnt about THE Anne and Gilbert, and about some other Anne and Gilbert instead. Its good in an indulgent let-your-mind-wander kind of way. Sort-of like you were day dreaming about what would happen if things had been set in a different time period… The visuals are quite lovely.Oh, wouldnt it be nice to find a real-life Gilbert? ;)Youre making me want to revisit my childhood Avonlea/Anne obsession!

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Anonymous February 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Is this where I admit I went to PEI on my honeymoon? Yes, my husband loves me.

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Anonymous February 1, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I think I saw parts of the third movie, and all I could figure out was that they took some of the Rilla story (the last story in the series, about Annes daughter) and used some bits of it. (By the way, Rilla of Ingleside and Burton Stevensons Girl from Alsace AKA Little Comrade are my two favorite novels set in World War I. I must admit, though, that I have read very few books set in WWI.) I think Rilla takes place entirely in Canada, but she does take in a baby — and wasnt Anne looking after a baby in the movie? I LOVE the Blue Castle as well, and also Jane of Lantern Hill. I havent read the Emily books in years, but dont remember being so fond of them.And, yes, my family did talk about taking me to PEI in my youth because of my love for the books, but the trip never happened.

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Amy B. February 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

I have a son named Matthew and a daughter named Marilla (after Rilla Blythe, of course.) yeah, count me amoung the fans.Dont bother with the movie. If Mr. Sullivan had actually told the Blythe story from WWI he would have created his masterpiece. The travesty he vomited out has only the names in common with Ms. Montgommorys story. Thats the greatest tragedy about it. It could have been a classic and instead we have Lifetimes 2pm movie of the day. They might as well have hired Merrideth Baxter Burney.

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Shay February 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Better late than never: The Blue Castle is available online.http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200951h.html

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sphinx March 3, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Blue castle is definitely one of her best. That and A Tangled Web are very different from the others but just as good, I think.

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