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ClassicsOnline Home » MONTGOMERY, L.M.: Anne of Avonlea (Abridged)
This is the second volume in the poignant yet amusing tale of the perky red-headed tales of Anne of Green Gables. This classic of children’s literature is set in Canada at the beginning of the century and is one of the best-selling titles in children’s literature ever.
L. M. Montgomery
ANNE OF AVONLEA
Anne of Avonlea is the second in L.M. Montgomery’s series of
books about Anne Shirley. As her fans know, she is the flame-haired, vivacious
and imaginative orphan who came to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert in
their home at Green Gables on Prince Edward Island, off the east coast of
In Anne of Avonlea, as the title suggests, Anne’s world has
opened out. She has grown up considerably and at sixteen and a half she has
started work as a teacher in the local school; the very school that she herself
attended until recently. She may be a schoolteacher but she is still the same
Anne — full of dreams, romances and ideals. How she copes with these in reality
makes interesting listening. Anne, as we have all come to realize, has a very
definite view on life and what is right and what is wrong, and she is not
afraid of speaking out. For example, she vows that she will never, ever use a
strap to punish her pupils but will she manage to stick to this rule of her own
The recording opens with a typical ‘Anne’ adventure, when
she has to chase what she thinks is her pet cow out of Mr. Harrison’s wheat
field. It is the second time that it has happened and Mr. Harrison is a grumpy
neighbor who can’t afford to be upset again. It has been raining, the field is
soaking and Anne’s long skirts get in the way of her effort to round up the
cow. In the end… well, we leave it for you to find out what happens in the end.
In this and most of Anne’s adventures, her greatest friend Diana, who is the
complete opposite of Anne in every way, joins her.
At home at Green Gables, all is not quiet either. Marilla
has been persuaded to take in and raise six and a half year old orphan twins.
Anne is very enthusiastic about the project but even she finds young Davey a
handful to keep out of mischief and to answer his never-ending questions. It is
not only Davey whose life is eventful. Anne has always been accident prone,
falling into scrapes because of her plans and adventures. In Anne of Avonlea, despite
her new responsibilities, she still can be helter-skelter and her life still
does not always go according to plan. Mrs. Morgan’s visit is a case in point,
but Anne copes with it with poise and humor. Yes, Anne is growing up to be a
thoughtful and positive young woman who is widely respected by her friends and neighbors.
It is she who is largely responsible for the founding of the
Avonlea Improvement Society. This is a society whose intent is to make the
local environment of Avonlea look more beautiful and run more efficiently. She
expresses her ideas in true ‘Anne’ style — romantically and with a flourish.
Nevertheless, these ideas are not all ‘hot air’. Through Anne and her friends’
enthusiasm the ideas become realities and we can hear about some of them on
As in Anne of Green Gables, the tales contain many wonderful
characters. Some of these will be familiar to us, such as Mrs. Lynde who knows
everything about everything such as, who arrives in the
village and when and who said what to whom. Then there are new characters to
look forward to meeting, such as the irascible Mr. Harrison who owns the
unlucky wheat field. Mrs. Lavender is another fresh face and her friendship
with Anne and her account of her past amply fuels Anne’s imagination and
romantic view of life.
At the heart of the book, though, are Anne and her
relationship with her friends, Gilbert, Diana, Jane, Priscilla and Fred. They
all enjoy sharing their dreams and ambitions. Of these friendships, Anne and
Gilbert Blythe are particularly close. Anne has her own idea of her ‘ideal man’
and Gilbert certainly does not answer to that description. Nevertheless their
friendship grows imperceptibly closer and who knows what the future will bring.
Notes by Jan Fielden
Liza Ross has appeared on stage in the West End and in
repertory across Great Britain, including Wings and The Front Page at the Royal
National Theatre. She has made many television appearances including After the
War, Poor Little Rich Girl, Two’s Company and The Month of the Doctors. Her
film work includes Batman and The Shadowchasers. She has also worked
extensively as a voice artist.
The music on this cassette is taken from the NAXOS catalog
DVORAK STRING QUARTET OP 96/105 8.550251
DVORAK O CHARMING GOLDEN ROSE - CYPRESSES 8.553375
Vlach Quartet Prague
COPLAND RODEO/BILLY THE KID 8.550282
Czechoslovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava), Stephen Gunzenhauser
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MONTGOMERY, L.M.: Anne of Avonlea (Abridged)