Bear with me for a little romantic indulgence…
After yesterdays post and looking through the pics of Anne of Green Gables I was reminded of another reason why I love those books and movies so much. The timeless love story of Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe.
I don’t know if it’s because it’s a Canadian Story, or because I adore Prince Edward Island or because I had read the first book as a girl and then the movies were released on TV when I was 10. My dad recorded it for us on VHS (he had tremendous foresight) and my sisters and I watched that DVD until it wore out. Literally.
I’ve watched it several times since then too. I think in many circles it’s a rite of passage. In my teens I read the rest of the books in the series and since then I’ve read them over and over. I love Anne. To me, she’s almost real. Sincerely, when I read the books it’s like I’m visiting with an old friend.
Anyways, since fall is my favourite season, I tend to read more poetry, listen to more music and thus the romantic come out in me full force. Bear with me as I take you through the love story between Anne and Gil (heart)
First we meet Anne Shirley
She’s precocious, talkative, imaginative, gets into messes all the time but you just fall in love with her. She wins hearts – first those at Green Gables, then those in the town of Avonlea, then eventually the entire Island.
…and our hero Gilbert Blythe
of course he’s handsome, respectful, extremely intelligent (he becomes a doctor afterall) has many friends and all the girls like him.
Because she’s not interested (and not like any other girl) of course he crushes on her by of course making fun of what He likes most about her, her red hair (which she is most sensitive about) – she cracks a slate over his head and reams him out something serious. We love her.
He crushes all the more.
They become competitors for school honours because she is also extremely intelligent. She continues to get in trouble with teachers and adults almost losing her best friend in the process… he pulls back a bit. She tries to get his attention again…
He rescues her from one of her “messes” and they call a truce. they tie coming in first place at school. He asks forgiveness they become cautious friends.
He is a friend to her, even when she is not in return. She tries to apologize, but it’s too late.
They leave for prep-college for a year. Competitors again… at the end of it, they tie for first again. Hoping to go to University on scholarship. Gilbert plans to teach and save up for college.
Anne’s adoptive father dies…at risk of losing Green Gables Gilbert Anne postpones college as well and takes a teaching job in a nearby town. Hearing this, Gilbert gives Anne his post and takes hers, saving her the daily drive and boarding expenses.
“Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.”
The story continues…
Two years have passed. Anne has become reclusive as she’s attempting to get a book she wrote published, but they keep getting rejected. She tells Gilbert who believes in her dream but he also is the one to tell Anne that her best friend has become engaged without her even noticing. Their “friendship” continues until he offers his honest opinion of her book which she does not accept.
Then she continues to avoid him because she suspects he cares for her. He is accepted into medical college and then at Diana’s engagement party they dance. He then he tries to propose to her. She won’t let him, she wants to remain friends because she thinks she wants some fine romance like in novels. At Diana’s wedding he tries again, but she again runs away. He promises to wait if he thought she cared…
He goes to medical school, she takes a teaching job at a private school in town called Kingsport. A year or so passes full of Anne-like adventures. The books have diverged paths with the movies long before this, but what happens is that Anne is caught up in a “romance” of sorts with wealthy gentleman…she eventually realizes she doesn’t need the pomp of novels, but the down to earth love she had been offered in Avonlea. But that love is seemingly been given to another.
They have a chance meeting in the rain in Kingsport. He encourages her to take up her writing again as she has given it up. She is so happy to see him, and he her. But he is betrothed to another… he gives her a note of congratulations, she runs to wave to him as he leaves on the train.
Several more months pass. She travels, continues working and has some success. She is offered a 5 year teaching contract which she declines as well as another proposal of marrirage which she also declines. She writes a book about life in Avonlea and it is published.
She returns home to Green Gables to find out that Gilbert is home. But he is ill, even near death. she prays for him and visits him on his sick bed. She tells him about her book, he tells her he called off his engagement…that there is no one for him but her.
He gets better, they go for a walk and profess their love for each other…
“I don’t want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU…. Sunbursts and marble halls may be all very well, but there is more `scope for imagination’ without them…..
Oh, dreams will be very sweet now.”
…then there are more lovely books including the wedding, the first year of wedded bliss and the family life which are just as romantic and funny as the first books. I think I love them more now because I have my own family.
Thank you for sharing my indulgence in Anne’s love story today. Perhaps it will spur on romantic thoughts for my next blog entry for day 14 in the 31 Days series – Romancing the Season 🙂