Off the Shelf: The Anne of Green Gables Treasury

I’m so excited to share this charming find I stumbled across a few weeks ago.

It’s called The Anne of Green Gables Treasury by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson, published in 1991 by Viking Press with the permission of Ruth and David Macdonald, the heirs of Lucy Maud Montgomery. Curiously, the illustration credit is to Pronks&Associates and not an individual illustrator โ€” a shame.



The two authors shared a love of the Anne books, and when they read them to their daughters, the little girls kept asking questions about Anne’s world. What would’ve Anne had for breakfast? Did Marilla have a refrigerator? What was it like to go to school in a one-room schoolhouse? So, they began to casually do research to find the answers. In their own words:

What we thought would be a few pleasant mornings spent in our branch library became a five-year obsession!

They began to become more deeply interested in what life would’ve been like in Avonlea from 1866 (Anne’s birth) to 1919 (the last year recorded in the last book in the series). So they did painstaking research and share their findings in this book.

The book itself is lovely. Very girly. Full of great illustrations like the one below. (Illustrators never want to depict Anne in her yellow wincey dress. For some reason, we always put her in gray or blue.









They divide the book into the spheres of life that played a major role in Anne’s life:



There’s a chapter on school. (Anne is certainly the only ginger in class.)




And there’s a chapter all about tea โ€” full of fantastic information about the different types of tea services (informal versus formal) and there are tons of recipes for sandwiches, biscuits, cakes, cookies, and tarts.



There is also a chapter on fashion and what girls and ladies wore during the time period and how they made their own clothing.




I love this one of Anne going to pieces over the puff sleeves.





There is even a section devoted to crafts! Although we know that Anne never really got the knack for needlework or had the patience for small-motor activities.



They teach you how to make a rose bowl, potpourri sachets, bib aprons, baby bonnet, and pressed flowers. Yes, they’re very dated crafts, but they were all the rage at the time. There’s even a simple pattern for crochet lace.

There’s also a section on flowers and gardening.

What I found very interesting is that they include a ton of maps for the town of Avonlea and the surrounding area. We’ve got Prince Edward Island as a whole.



Then we zoom in on Green Gables farm.


And then we zoom in further on the floorplan of Green Gables itself.



They even include an interesting timeline that juxtaposes what’s going on in Anne’s world versus what’s going on in the world at large.



This is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in learning more about Anne of Green Gables. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to call myself Cordelia for the rest of the day.


Are you more like Anne Shirley or her bosom friend Diana Barry?


6 thoughts on “Off the Shelf: The Anne of Green Gables Treasury

  1. Love this post, when I was little girl I got for Christmas book by same authors called “The Anne of Green Gables Christmas Treasury.”, still have this book and love it! It contains many illustrations in the same style as above

  2. I’m so glad you and others have enjoyed The AGG Treasury. I wanted to point out that artist/illustrator credits are included on the copyright page: Barbara Massey, David Bathurst, Bernadette Lau, Jack McMaster, Carol Paton, & Margo Stahl contributed artwork for various sections. Carolyn Strom Collins (the author of the AGG Treasury and other companion books to Little Women, The Secret Garden, and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books)

  3. Lovely! I got this book when I was in high school and later used it to teach a week long class at a summer camp for kids. Visiting Anne’s world, at least in Montgomery’s language, always makes life a much better place to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thank you very much for such a marvellous post! I’m from Belarus and I doubt whether I can buy this book here…Your post gave me a very nice sort of feeling, it creates a unique mood and warm atmosphere, as the whole Anne’s world does. Thank you a lot!

  5. Loved your post today– beleive it or not, I just recently purchased this book on ebay, being a big fan of the Anne of Green Gables books/films! I can imagine myself being on Prince Edward Island at Green Gables, crocheting a doily, lol!

    • What a coincidence! I’m also a big Anne fan, and I’d love to visit PEI someday โ€” maybe not in the winter, though. I have yet to crochet an actual doily, but if I lived in Anne’s time, I’d have to have at least 36 of them (or whatever the number was!) to keep up with Diana Barry. ๐Ÿ™‚

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