Witty and Wise Quotes from L.M. Montgomery’s Novels

L.M. Montgomery in her 30s

L.M. Montgomery is best known for Anne of Green Gables and its sequels, beloved by generations of readers. While struggling with lifelong bouts of depression, she desired above all to bring joy to those who read her novels, filling them with gentle wisdom and wit.

Maud Montgomery drew inspiration from the beautiful habitat of Prince Edward Island, where she was born and raised, for the adventures of Anne Shirley. One of the sunniest (though not simplistic) characters in children’s literature, she was an intensely social and curious being who appreciated the beauty of the world around her.

Anne of Green Gables set the stage for a number of sequels; similarly, Montgomery’s subsequent books featured heroines who saw the world from a unique perspective. Here are some favorite witty and wise quotes from a few of L.M. Montgomery’s many books.


From Anne of Green Gables (1908)

Anne of Green Gables

L.M. Montgomery page on Amazon

“It’s not what the world holds for you. It is what you bring to it.” 

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“I can’t. I’m in the depths of despair. Can you eat when you are in the depths of despair?”

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“Folks that has brought up children know that there’s no hard and fast method in the world that’ll suit every child. But them as never have think it’s all as plain and easy as Rule of Three—just set your three terms down so fashion, and the sum’ll work out correct.”

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“My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.” 

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I don’t want to talk as much. It’s nicer to think dear, pretty thoughts and keep them in one’s heart, like treasures. I don’t like to have them laughed at or wondered over.

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

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“True friends are always together in spirit.”

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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 any 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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“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

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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?”

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“ALL things great are wound up with all things little.”

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“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?”

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

 

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

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L.M.Montgomery quote from Anne of Green Gables - Octobers
Here are more quotes from Anne of Green Gables

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From Anne of Avonlea (1909)

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”

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“That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.”

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“It takes all sorts of people to make a world, as I’ve often heard, but I think there are some who could be spared.” 

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“On a day like this there’s no such word as fail in my bright lexicon.” 

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“How terrible it would be to be doing something you didn’t like every day.” 

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“Anne was kneeling at the west gable window watching the sunset sky that was like a great flower with petals of crocus and a heart of fiery yellow.” 

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“In life, as in dreams, however, things often go by contraries.” 

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“I’m really a very happy, contented little person in spite of my broken heart.”

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“She seemed to walk in an atmosphere of things about to happen.” 

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“Fancies are like shadows…you can’t cage them, they’re such wayward, dancing things.”

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“Oh, sometimes I think it is of no use to make friends. They only go out of your life after a while and leave a hurt that is worse than the emptiness before they came.”

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“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people know more…though I know that is the noblest ambition … but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me…to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.” 

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“As they dashed into the kitchen the light seemed to vanish, as if blown out by some mighty breath; the awful cloud rolled over the sun and a darkness as of late twilight fell across the world.” 

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L.M. Montgomery quote

How L.M. Montgomery Found a Publisher for Anne of Green Gables

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From Anne of the Island (1915)

Anne of the Island

“When you’ve learned to laugh at the things that should be laughed at, and not to laugh at those that shouldn’t, you’ve got wisdom and understanding.”

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“she was richer in those dreams than in realities; for things seen pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 

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“All life lessons are not learned at college,’ she thought. ‘Life teaches them everywhere.” 

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“I wish we could see perfumes as well as smell them. I’m sure they would be very beautiful.” 

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“Anne was always glad in the happiness of her friends; but it is sometimes a little lonely to be surrounded everywhere by happiness that is not your own.” 

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“I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you.” 

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“That’s one of the things we learn as we grow older — how to forgive. It comes easier at forty than it did at twenty.” 

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“The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be sought and followed; the life of heaven must be begun here on earth.” 

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“I’ve loved you ever since that day you broke your slate over my head in school.” 

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“Dogs are TOO good and unselfish. They make me feel uncomfortable. But cats are gloriously human.” 

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“I feel as if I had opened a book and found roses of yesterday sweet and fragrant, between its leaves.” 

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“Humor is the spiciest condiment in the feast of existence. Laugh at your mistakes but learn from them, joke over your troubles but gather strength from them, make a jest of your difficulties but overcome them.”

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“All life lessons are not learned at college, she thought. Life teaches them everywhere.” 

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“Most of the trouble in life comes from misunderstanding, I think,’ said Anne.” 

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“I am afraid to speak or move for the fear all this wonderful beauty will vanish just like a broken silence” 

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“Besides, I’ve been feeling a little blue — just a pale, elusive azure. It isn’t serious enough for anything darker.” 

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“She had dreamed some brilliant dreams during the past winter and now they lay in the dust around her. In her present mood of self-disgust, she could not immediately begin dreaming again. And she discovered that, while solitude with dreams is glorious, solitude without them has few charms.” 

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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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Anne of Windy Poplars (1936)

 

Anne of Windy Poplars

“I believe I rather like superstitious people. They lend color to life. Wouldn’t it be a rather drab world if everybody was wise and sensible . . . and good? What would we find to talk about?” 

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“it would be lovely to sleep in a wild cherry-tree all white with bloom in the moonshine” 

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“Life owes me something more than it has paid me and I’m going out to collect it…” 

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“I hate to lend a book I love … it never seems quite the same when it comes back to me.” 

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“You were never poor as long as you had something to love.” 

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“Isn’t it queer that the things we writhe over at night are seldom wicked things? Just humiliating ones.” 

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“Good night, belovedest. Your sleep will be sweet if there is any influences in the wishes of your own.” 

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“It was really dreadful to be so different from other people…and yet rather wonderful, too, as if you were a being strayed from another star.” 

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“Have you ever noticed how many silences there are Gilbert? The silence of the woods … of the shore … of the meadows …of the night … of the summer afternoon. All different because the undertones that thread them are different.” 

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“…There was something about her that made you feel it was safe to tell her secrets.” 

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“I hope you don’t think I’m one of those terrible people who make you feel that you have to talk to them all the time.”

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“And it seemed to me, too, that I’ve always been afraid when I was in the company of people…afraid of saying something stupid…afraid of being laughed at.” 

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“Why should one hate you when you were so small? Could you be worth hating?” 

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“The trouble is there aren’t any bends in my road. I can see it stretching straight out before me to the sky-line…endless monotony. Oh, does life ever frighten you, Anne, with its blankness … its swarms of cold, uninteresting people?” 

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“But is there not something strange about any room that has been occupied through generations? Death has lurked in i t… love has been rosy red in it … births have been here … all the passions … all the hopes. It is full of wraths.”

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“Wouldn’t it be a rather drab world if everybody was wise and sensible … and good? What would we find to talk about?” 

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“as she held out her hand, their eyes met and all doubt was swept away in a glad certainty. They belonged to each other; and, no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. Their happiness was in each other’s keeping and both were unafraid.” 

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