Anne of Windy Poplars

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Anne of Windy Poplars
First edition
AuthorLucy Maud Montgomery
SeriesAnne of Green Gables
GenreChildren's novel
PublisherMcClelland and Stewart
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
Preceded byAnne of the Island 
Followed byAnne's House of Dreams 

Anne of Windy Poplars—published as Anne of Windy Willows in the UK, Australia, and Japan—is an epistolary novel by Canadian author L. M. Montgomery. First published in 1936 by McClelland and Stewart, it details Anne Shirley's experiences over three years teaching at a high school in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. The novel features a series of letters Anne sends to her intended, Gilbert Blythe, who is completing medical school. Chronologically, the book is fourth in the series, but it was the seventh book written.


Anne of Windy Poplars takes place over the three years between Anne's graduation from Redmond College and her marriage to Gilbert Blythe. While Gilbert is in medical school, Anne takes a job as the principal of Summerside High School, where she also teaches. She lives in a large house called Windy Poplars with two elderly widows, Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty, along with their housekeeper, Rebecca Dew, and their cat, Dusty Miller.

During her time in Summerside, Anne must learn to manage many of Summerside's inhabitants, including the clannish and resentful Pringle family, her bitter colleague Katherine Brooke, and others of Summerside's more eccentric residents. Additionally, Anne befriends the young and lonely Elizabeth Grayson, a motherless member of the Pringle family who lives next door to Windy Poplars. She frequently visits Marilla at Green Gables.

At the end of the novel, Anne departs Summerside, returning to Green Gables and Avonlea for her wedding to Gilbert. Upon her departure many of the town's residents express that they will greatly miss her as they have grown very fond of her or have been helped by her, including Katherine Brooke and Elizabeth Grayson.


Anne Shirley The book's main protagonist. After becoming engaged to Gilbert Blythe, Anne accepts the job of Summerside High principal until Gilbert finishes medical school.

Rebecca Dew - Aunt Chatty and Aunt Kate's housekeeper. Summerside believes that she rules the "widows" with her outspoken ways and her demands. However, her employers have long learned to manage her through reverse psychology. She is genuinely fond of Anne and very kind.

Elizabeth Grayson - A lonely and unhappy child that lives next door to Anne. She is being raised by her Great-Grandmother and her Great Grandmother's elderly housekeeper, whom Elizabeth calls "The Woman". Her father left her to work overseas when Elizabeth's mother died. Elizabeth changes her name, calling herself Lizzie or Bess, based on her mood. She worships Anne and Anne, in turn, loves and cares for Elizabeth. Anne tries to find ways to bring joy to Elizabeth's life.

Aunt Chatty/Charlotte MacLean

Aunt Kate/Kate McComber

Katherine Brooke - The Vice Principal of Summerside High. She resents Anne because she believes that she should have been offered the job as Principal. Katherine is sarcastic and bitter, but a good teacher. As a child, she was orphaned and raised by her uncle. She feels the need to repay her uncle every cent he spent in raising her, so she lives a joyless and miserly life. In the end, she becomes good friends with Anne and finds her path to happiness.

Miss Valentine Courtaloe

Nora Nelson

Hazel Marr

Jen Pringle

Minerva Tomgallon


Montgomery continued the story of Anne Shirley in a series of sequels. They are listed in the order of Anne's age in each novel.

Lucy Maud Montgomery's books featuring Anne Shirley
# Book Date published Anne Shirley's age
1 Anne of Green Gables 1908 11-16
2 Anne of Avonlea 1909 16-18
3 Anne of the Island 1915 18-22
4 Anne of Windy Poplars 1936 22-25
5 Anne's House of Dreams 1917 25-27
6 Anne of Ingleside 1939 34-40
7 Rainbow Valley 1919 41
8 Rilla of Ingleside 1921 49-53
Related books in which Anne Shirley plays a lesser part
# Book Date published Anne Shirley's age
Chronicles of Avonlea 1912 -
Further Chronicles of Avonlea 1920 -
The Blythes Are Quoted 2009 -

Windy Poplars vs Windy Willows[edit]

Montgomery's original title for the book was Anne of Windy Willows, but her US publisher requested that she change the title because of the title's similarities to The Wind in the Willows. Additionally, her publisher requested some cuts to the book, mainly for perceived gory or terrifying content. Montgomery complied, and the edited novel was published in the United States and Canada as Anne of Windy Poplars. Her UK publisher, however, did not see the need for the edits and published the unabridged version under the original title, Anne of Windy Willows.[1][2]


A 1940 film version of the novel was made with the actress Anne Shirley. This recorded a loss of $176,000.[3]

The novel also serves as the primary source for the 1987 television mini-series Anne of Avonlea.


  1. ^ My dear Mr. M: Letters to GB MacMillan from LM Montgomery, Mcgraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd, 1980, pp. 180-181
  2. ^ The Differences Between Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne of Windy Willows
  3. ^ Richard Jewell & Vernon Harbin, The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1982. p149

External links[edit]