Quotes from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables cover

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (1874 – 1942) has been a classic children’s novel almost from the time it was first published in 1908. Following is a selection of quotes from Anne of Green Gables that illustrate why the novel has such timeless appeal.

It’s the first of a series of novels detailing the adventures of an orphan girl named Anne Shirley from the age of eleven through adulthood. Following is a selection of quotes from Anne of Green Gables, the beloved classic novel.

Anne is mistakenly sent to two siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert interested in adopting a boy to help them on their farm. The novel takes place in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island and follows Anne as she makes her way through life with the Cuthbert siblings, school friends, and townspeople.

Since the year of its publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than fifty million copies and has been translated into thirty-six languages as well.

Montgomery wrote numerous sequels and since her death, another sequel has been published as well as an authorized prequel — Marilla of Green Gables. In addition, the novel has been adapted into films, television shows, and a live-action and animated television series. Musicals and plays have also been created and are produced annually in Japan and Europe.

Anne of Green Gables
has captured the hearts of many all over the world, and has been honored universally. A “Green Gables” building has been named in Australia, Canada Post issued Anne of Green Gables-inspired stamps, and curiously, the Anne franchise has a devoted following in Japan. 

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Anne of Green Gables postage stamps - Canada

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“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”

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“Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be an end to them– that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”

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“The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.”

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“Anne always remembered the silvery, peaceful beauty and fragrant calm of that night. It was the last night before sorrow touched her life; and no life is ever quite the same again when once that cold, sanctifying touch has been laid upon it.” 

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“I’m not a bit changed–not really. I’m only just pruned down and branched out. The real ME–back here–is just the same.” 

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“Because when you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worth.”

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“I’ve just been imagining that it was really me you wanted after all and that I was to stay here forever and ever. It was a great comfort while it lasted. But the worst of imagining things is that the time comes when you have to stop and that hurts.”

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“Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there? But am I talking too much? People are always telling me I do. Would you rather I didn’t talk? If you say so I’ll stop. I can STOP when I make up my mind to it, although it’s difficult.”

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“I don’t know that she is as amusing as she was when she was a child, but she makes me love her and I like people who make me love them. It saves me so much trouble in making myself love them.”

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“Red hair is my lifelong sorrow.” 

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“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”

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“They keep coming up new all the time – things to perplex you, you know. You settle one question and there’s another right after. There are so many things to be thought over and decided when you’re beginning to grow up. It keeps me busy all the time thinking them over and deciding what’s right. It’s a serious thing to grow up, isn’t it, Marilla?” 

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“It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it?”

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“We pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.”

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Anne of Green Gables - Prince Edward Island

Witty and Wise Quotes from L.M. Montgomery’s Novels
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“That’s the worst of growing up, and I’m beginning to realize it. The things you wanted so much when you were a child don’t seem half so wonderful to you when you get them.”

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“I am sure we should not shut our hearts against the healing influences that nature offers us. But I understand your feeling. I think we all experience the same thing. We resent the thought that anything can please us when someone we love is no longer here to share the pleasure with us, and we almost feel as if we were unfaithful to our sorrow when we find our interest in life returning to us.” 

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“Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.”

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“When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.” 

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“I wouldn’t want to marry anybody who was wicked, but I think I’d like it if he could be wicked and wouldn’t.”

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“You’re never safe from being surprised until you’re dead.”

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“Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it … well, with no mistakes in it yet.”

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“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.”

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“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”

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“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

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L.M.Montgomery quote from Anne of Green Gables - Octobers

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“Don’t you just love poetry that gives you a crinkly feeling up and down your back?”

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“She had looked her duty courageously in the face and found it a friend – as duty ever is when we meet it frankly.” 

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“Oh, but there’s such a difference between saying a thing yourself and hearing other people say it,’ wailed Anne. ‘You may know a thing is so, but you can’t help hoping other people don’t quite think it is.” 

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“But really, Marilla, one can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?” 

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“Listen to the trees talking in their sleep,’ she whispered, as he lifted her to the ground. ‘What nice dreams they must have!” 

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“Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.”

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“Miss Barry was a kindred spirit after all,” Anne confided to Marilla, “You wouldn’t think so to look at her, but she is. . . Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” 

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God’s in His heaven, alls right with the world’, whispered Anne softly.”

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“It’s all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?”

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The world looks like something God had imagined for his own pleasure, doesn’t it?

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“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.”

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Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables and its sequels on Amazon

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“Which would you rather be if you had the choice–divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?”

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“Pretty? Oh, pretty doesn’t seem the right word to use. Nor beautiful, either. They don’t go far enough. Oh, it was wonderful—wonderful. It’s the first thing I ever saw that couldn’t be improved upon by imagination. It just satisfied me here”—she put one hand on her breast—”it made a queer funny ache and yet it was a pleasant ache.”

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Skyler Isabella Gomez is a 2019 SUNY New Paltz graduate with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Black Studies. Her passions include connecting more with her Latin roots by researching and writing about legendary Latina authors. 

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