Book to Screen: Netflix Anne of Green Gables Adaptation

“It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it?” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Does the Netflix Anne of Green Gables Adaptation live up to the book?

As I have been eagerly awaiting the May 12th release of the Netflix Anne of Green Gables adaptation, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the first season is almost done in Canada. This 8 episode mini series had a lot to live up to. The 1985 series with Megan Fellows is one of my all time favorites.

Anne of Green Gables is a childhood classic. The book, written in 1905 by L.M. Montgomery is surprisingly progressive and yet wholesome and whimsical. That it is still a favorite of readers today, speaks to the enduring nature of the book (and the series.)

In my short time in Toronto visiting my family, I was able to watch the first episode of the Netflix Anne of Green Gables adaptation and I was pleasantly surprised. Amybeth McNulty, who plays Anne Shirley, is a skinny, freckled girl. At first glance, she is not as cute as Megan Fellows but, by the end of the first episode, you love her just as much. She plays the part wonderfully. Its upsetting to see that Netflix has airbrushed the CBC Canada picture to remove her freckles. 

Netflix Anne of Green Gables adaptation

The new show has made some changes to the plot by adding scenes that are not in the book. There are flashbacks to Anne’s past that are very sad and disturbing. Unlike the books, she has moments where her past clearly effects her behavior. It’s much more realistic than any of the previous versions.  The cinematography in this version is absolutely breathtaking. It makes me want to plan a trip to Prince Edward Island.

I can’t wait to watch the rest when the complete series is released on May 12. In the meanwhile, I’ve included a quiz. How well do you know Anne? 

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Book to Screen: Netflix Anne of Green Gables AdaptationThe Annotated Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Published by Oxford University Press on August 28th 1997
Genres: Fiction, Classics, Literary Criticism, Canadian
Pages: 496
Buy on Amazon

Since its publication in 1908, Anne of Green Gables has been a continuous international best-seller, enjoying successful television adaptations on PBS and The Disney Channel, and captivating children and adults alike with the irresistible charms of its remarkable heroine, Anne Shirley. This wildly imaginative, red-headed chatterbox tries to fit into the narrow confines of Victorian expectations, but her exuberant spirit keeps leaping delightfully beyond the bounds. Indeed, when Maud Montgomery decided to reject the sermonizing formulas of the children's books of her day, she brought to life a character much closer to Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, and Tom Sawyer--also orphans, like Anne--than to the self-sacrificing, conformist heroines then in demand. In doing so, Montgomery subtly questioned the values of her society--the stifling restraints of its religion and most especially its treatment of women--while giving readers all the pleasures of her considerable story-telling gifts.Now, in this first fully annotated edition of Anne of Green Gables, readers will appreciate more clearly than ever before the scope and depth of this extraordinary novel. Editors Margaret Anne Doody, Mary Doody Jones, and Wendy Barry provide a richly illustrated, completely revised text, along with hundreds of notes describing the real-life characters and settings Anne encounters, the autobiographical connections between Anne and Maud Montgomery, and the book's astonishing range of literary, biblical, and mythological references. Additional essays offer fascinating background information on such topics as the geography and settlement of Prince Edward Island (where Anne takes place); the education, orphanages, music, and literature of Anne's time; and the horticulture, homemade artifacts, and food preparation that are so prevalent in the story. Margaret Anne Doody supplies a comprehensive introduction, which situates the novel in its literary and social contexts, explores those aspects of Montgomery's life most relevant to the story, examines revisions in the manuscripts, and provides an overall sense of both the impulses that drove Montgomery to write Anne of Green Gables and the larger concerns it dramatizes so compellingly. This edition also contains a chronology of Montgomery's life, an extensive bibliography, songs and poems that appear in the text, and a selection of original reviews of the book. This wealth of material enables readers to grasp the marvelous multi-layeredness of the novel and to understand more fully its place in both its own time and in ours.Elegantly and beautifully designed, with generous illustrations from previous editions, photographs of the places the novel inhabits, and explanatory drawings that reproduce the texture of Anne's world, The Annotated Anne of Green Gables is a major event in the publishing history of one of the world's most charming stories.

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