Anne's Life before Green Gables
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, tells Marilla about her life. Marilla is an elderly woman who wanted to adopt a boy to help her brother, Matthew, with the farm chores. Anne was sent to them by mistake.
“[My mother] died of fever when I was just three months old.... And Father died four days afterwards from fever, too. That left me an orphan and folks were at their wits’ end, so Mrs. Thomas said, what to do with me. You see, nobody wanted me even then. Father and Mother had both come from places far away and it was well known they hadn’t any relatives living. Finally Mrs. Thomas said she’d take me, though she was poor and had a drunken husband....
“I lived with them until I was eight years old. I helped look after the Thomas children—there were four of them younger than me- and I can tell you they took a lot of looking after. Then Mr. Thomas was killed falling under a train and his mother offered to take Mrs. Thomas and the children, but she didn’t want me.... Then Mrs. Hammond from up the river came down and said she’d take me, seeing I was handy with children, and I went up the river to live with her in a little clearing among the stumps. It was a very lonesome place.... Mr. Hammond worked a little saw-mill up there, and Mrs. Hammond had eight children. She had twins three times.... I used to get so dreadfully tired carrying them about.”
“I lived up river with Mrs. Hammond over two years, and then Mr. Hammond died and Mrs. Hammon broke up housekeeping.... I had to go to the asylum at Hopeton, because nobody would take me. They didn’t want me at the asylum, either; they said they were overcrowded as it was. But they had to take me and I was there four months until Mrs. Spencer came.”
Anne finished up with another sigh, of relief this time. Evidently she did not like talking about her experiences in a world that had not wanted her.
“Did you ever go to school?” demanded Marilla, turning the sorrel mare down the shore road.
“Not a great deal. I went a little the last year I stayed with Mrs. Thomas. When I went up river we were so far from a school that I couldn’t walk it in winter and there was vacation in summer, so I could only go in the spring and fall. But of course I went when I was at the asylum.”
from L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, L. C. Page, 1908
Entries referring to " Anne's Life before Green Gables "
|Title||Author||Type of Post|
|Anne Goes to High School||Living Archives||Anne Excerpt|
|Where was Matthew Cuthbert Driving?||Living Archives||Anne Excerpt|
|Anne's Trip to Prince Edward Island||Living Archives||Anne Excerpt|
|Context - School Life in the 1880s: How different was it?||Living Archives||Blog entry|
|Farm Women||patrick||Blog entry|
|A Horse and a Carriage||jolynw||Blog entry|
|Newbery Family Child at Work and Play||breanng||Blog entry|
|Anne Challenged by New Classmate||Living Archives||Anne Excerpt|
|Orwell Corner Guided Tour||emmam||Video|
|Items a Blacksmith Made||DanielleR||Blog entry|
|Farm Buildings||tannerm||Blog entry|
|Cecil Stewart and Clydesdale||tiffanyh||Blog entry|
|Context: Blacksmiths' Work||katief||Blog entry|
|Two Horse-Drawn Carriages on the Beach.||Aliciaa||Blog entry|
|Woman and Horse Carriage||Aliciaa||Blog entry|
|Horse and Carriage||tiffanyh||Blog entry|
|Horse and Carriage!||DanielleR||Blog entry|