Reading order?
October 21, 2019 10:03 AM - Subscribe

What order should we read the books going forward? I have a strong preference for publication order but I’m open to hearing other opinions. Also, is there interest in discussing related works like LMM’s journals, her non-Anne works, or a biography?
posted by bq to Avonlea (9 comments total)
The set I had was in chronological order—I didn’t realize they’d been published in a different order!
However we want to discuss them is fine with me.
posted by exceptinsects at 1:06 PM on October 22, 2019

I think it's preferable in chronological order as that fits the story and the characters and then the publication order can come up where it's relevant to that, I think.
posted by halcyonday at 7:17 AM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Does it? I've never read a couple of the books and it's been a long time for the rest.

How would you compare it to, say, the Narnia series? Those are frequently ordered by the publisher with 'The Magician's Nephew' as Number 1, and 'The Lion The Witch, and The Wardrobe' as number 2, which is obviously wrong and bad.
posted by bq at 1:33 PM on October 24, 2019

Here's the chart of chronological order from Wikipedia

Lucy Maud Montgomery's books on Anne Shirley:

№ Book Date published Anne Shirley's age Timeline year
1 Anne of Green Gables 1908 11–16 1876–1881
2 Anne of Avonlea 1909 16–18 1881–1883
3 Anne of the Island 1915 18–22 1883–1887
4 Anne of Windy Poplars (Canada and USA)
Anne of Windy Willows (UK and Australia) 1936 22–25 1887–1890
5 Anne's House of Dreams 1917 25–27 1890–1892
6 Anne of Ingleside 1939 34–40 1899–1905
The following books focus on Anne's children, or on other family friends. Anne appears in these volumes, but plays a lesser part.
№ Book Date published Anne Shirley's age Timeline year
7 Rainbow Valley 1919 41–43 1906–1908
8 Rilla of Ingleside 1921 49–53 1914–1918
9 The Blythes Are Quoted 2009 40–75 1905–1940
Anne Shirley features in one story (and is referenced in other stories) in each of the following collections:
№ Book Date published Anne Shirley's age Timeline year
— Chronicles of Avonlea 1912 approx. 20 1885
— Further Chronicles of Avonlea 1920 approx. 20 1885

Whereas if reading in published order I'd choose:

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of the Island
Anne's House of Dreams
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne of Ingleside

Followed by the ancillary works:

Chronicles of Avonlea
Further Chronicles of Avonlea
The Blythes Are Quoted
posted by bq at 1:39 PM on October 24, 2019

I think it's occasionally useful to point out where minor anachronisms happen because she was writing it at the time where X was a thing while the book is set Y years before X (the ~Sleeves~ from AoGG are not, I think, technically the Fashion for the time of the book) or where she said Y in that book for a character but then Z is in play in this book because she wrote the one before the other or where it might have been impacted by her life events but that's very much a thing for what individual commentators want to include.

For general story consistency though, I would prefer to keep to chronological order.
posted by halcyonday at 5:35 AM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm also sort of in favor of chronological order, but I don't mind the other way. As others have said people can feel free to point out the publication order where that factors into discussion, as there are obvious issues, like the fact that none of Anne's Windy Poplars friends show up in House of Dreams because HoD was written before Windy Poplars, etc. But I like the idea of reading them in order just to get a chronology of the main character.
posted by katyggls at 8:07 PM on October 27, 2019

Oh and I'm very interested in reading Montgomery's other works that feature Anne, as well.
posted by katyggls at 8:08 PM on October 27, 2019

OK, I'm convinced.

I'm going to go back and read 'Anne of Windy Poplars' and then proceed in chronological order. Ancillary works to be tacked on at the end.
posted by bq at 11:49 AM on October 31, 2019

I just added Anne of Ingleside if anyone wants to discuss!
posted by toastyk at 8:53 AM on October 27, 2022

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