1908: Anne of Green Gables
Author: Lucy Maud Montgomery
This classic novel is about an orphan girl named Anne Shirley who is adopted by siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert of Prince Edward Island. Spirited Anne rocks the sleepy island community with her talkative and imaginative ways and is involved in several humorous misadventures, including dying her hair green, unintentionally getting her friend drunk, and nearly drowning while acting out a poem. Throughout all of her mishaps, Anne’s charm, wit, and good intentions endear her to her new family and friends, as well as readers all over the world.
Anne is a universally appealing character, as evidenced by the plethora of sequels, movies, television shows, and plays featuring her story. Although constantly reinterpreted, particularly when it comes to gender roles and values, Anne of Green Gables is a timeless story and, as author L.M. Montgomery put it, is a ”simple little tale.”