July 7th, 2011
03:57 PM ET
Catherine is a kindred spirit!
When I took a look at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Canadian travel itinerary, I was surprised to learn the newlyweds were forgoing major cities like Toronto, yet were stopping by Prince Edward Island. Not that anyone wouldn't be lucky to set foot on the tiny, gorgeous island famous for its red earth, beaches, and seafood - particularly P.E.I. mussels.
But when I learned that the book "Anne of Green Gables," set in P.E.I., was a childhood favorite of Catherine's, it all made sense.
As for the kindred spirit part, Anne fans will remember that our heroine longed to meet a "kindred spirit" (otherwise known as a "bosom friend"). She eventually found one in Diana Barry (otherwise known as Diana of the Lake of Shining Waters).
On Monday, day five of the royal tour, the duchess was presented with a copy of the Lucy Maud Montgomery novel by actress Tess Benger, who currently plays Anne Shirley in the P.E.I. production of "Anne of Green Gables: The Musical."
The duchess and I certainly aren't the only ones enamored with the tale of the charming orphan girl with the colossal imagination who, following a serendipitous mix-up, was taken in by aging spinster Marilla Cuthbert and her "old bachelor" brother, Matthew. Heck, there's even a Japanese Anime series based on Anne! (And for those not familiar with the story, an anime Anne is akin to creating an anime "Little House on the Prairie," as "Anne of Green Gables" takes place in the late 1870s.)
But all this talk of that "Anne-girl" (Aunt Josephine's loving nickname) has me reminiscing about the film. Yes, I will admit it: I love the movie more than I love the book. How un-Anne of me, wordsmith that the title character was!
It may have something to do with the fact that I saw the made-for-TV movie first, but I devoured the Kevin Sullivan produced and directed Canadian Broadcasting Corporation presentation when it aired in the U.S. on PBS in the 1980s. I drank it in like Diana Barry drank the currant wine she mistook for raspberry cordial.
While Montgomery's book is wonderful (and in the public domain, if you're so inclined to download it via Amazon Kindle), the performances of Megan Follows, Colleen Dewhurst and Richard Farnsworth cannot be topped in my book (pun intended).
Follows' facial expressions - and legendary fits when people made fun of her "carrot" red hair - were priceless. I'll also never forget the scene where a nervous Matthew mumbled and stumbled at the general store, purchasing 20 pounds of brown sugar and a garden rake in the dead of winter, all the while working up the courage to buy the dress in the window for Anne, who longed to attend the Christmas ball in puffed sleeves.
When a dear relative (Canadian, no less, and a true kindred spirit!) mailed me a DVD copy of the series for Christmas, I was in Anne (with an "e") heaven. Watching the movie all over again was like visiting an old (bosom) friend.
What about you? Did you read the book and/or see the movie? If so, which do you prefer? What are your most cherished "Anne" memories, scenes, and quotations?
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