Books Written After L.M. Montgomery's Death

Agatha Krzewinski

Long after L.M. Montgomery’s death and Anne of Green Gables entering the public domain in 1992 in Canada, the story of Anne and the author herself, continues to live on and inspire others to this day. It has allowed writers and creators to repurpose and re-publish her works to create numerous adaptations, prequels,and sequels. Several new and experienced writers have written new stories about Anne and Montgomery, continuing her legacy, and contributing to the history of one of the world’s most beloved literary heroines.

Before Green Gables (2008)

Published in 2008 by Puffin (a division of Penguin Books), Before Green Gables is a prequel written by noted Canadian Children's author Budge Wilson (May 2, 1927 - Mar 19, 2021). Wilson began her writing career later in life, publishing her first book in 1984 when she was 56, and having written more than thirty books. She was also a recipient of the Order of Canada.

In 2006, Penguin Books approached Wilson about writing a prequel to the Anne of Green Gables (1908) book, which would be published for the 100th anniversary of the original Anne of Green Gables (1908) novel. Wilson spent two months debating over the decision to write the prequel, and one of the questions that drove her to write the book was: given Anne Shirley's first 11 years of hardship and emotional deprivation, how did she become the vibrant,talkative, child that she was when she first got off the train and met Matthew?

Wilson submitted a 38-page outline which was also read and accepted by the Montgomery family. Kate MacDonald Butler, granddaughter of L.M. Montgomery and spokesperson for the heirs, claimed it was ‘beautiful’ and admitted that she even cried after reading the first few pages.

Wilson took every clue that Anne mentions about her life prior to Green Gables and turned it into a novel about her first 11 years. The book begins with Anne’s parents, Bertha and Walter Shirley, and their life in their tiny yellow house in Bolingbroke Nova Scotia. When both parents die within days, Anne is left as an orphan at just three months old, and her tribulations begin. She is adopted by the Thomases who have too many babies and an alcoholic father.  Anne is later adopted by the Hammonds, who desperately need her childminding skills to raise six children and two sets of twins. Finally at age 11, Anne’s life is disrupted by death again and she is relegated to the orphanage, before accidently being adopted by the Cuthberts and arriving at Green Gables. Anne uses her imagination, school, and kind teachers, to find solace and deal with her difficult upbringing.

Summer Reading: ‘Before Green Gables’ and ‘Harbour View’ – Consumed by Ink
CM Magazine: Before Green Gables. (
Budge Wilson, acclaimed Nova Scotia writer, dies at 93 | CBC News

Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (2009)

Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning, published in 2009 by Davenport Press, is a novelization written by filmmaker Kevin Sullivan from his original screenplay of the television movie Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (2008).

After Anne of Green Gables: the Continuing Story was released in 2000, Sullivan didn’t see the story going any further, having already produced three mini-series and the spin-off series Road To Avonlea. However, several years later approaching the 100th anniversary of the original Anne of Green Gables (1908) novel, Sullivan saw the opportunity to do something special and celebrate her legacy.

He always felt that Anne,as a child, had covered up her background in order to be accepted by the Cuthberts. Sullivan wanted to explore what would have happened if one of Anne's parents, her father, had actually been alive, and how the Cuthberts would have reacted to him trying to get Anne back.

Sullivan thought the concept of this film could be a reflection by an older Anne looking back on her childhood. She discovers long lost letters under the floorboards of an upstairs closet, hidden by Marilla over 40 years ago. The letters are from Anne's father,Walter Shirley, and are discovered by Diana's adult children when they are getting ready to sell Green Gables. Older Anne confesses that as a child, she made up stories about her life because her father had abandoned her.This parallels Montgomery's life, as her own father deserted her when her mother died, not long after she was born.

The film begins in 1945,when Anne Shirley returns to Prince Edward Island, and on a whim agrees to write a play for a theatre producer. The film was green lit and produced with CTV and broadcasted in 2008, starring Academy Award nominee Barbara Hershey as an older Anne and Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine. Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning is both a prequel and a sequel to the trilogy that featured Megan Follows as Anne Shirley.

Why did Kevin Sullivan make a fourth Anne of Green Gables film?

Maud: A Novel Inspired by the life of L.M.Montgomery (2017)

Maud is a fictionalized young adult novel about the teenage years of L.M.Montgomery. It was published by Penguin Teen Canada and written by Melanie Fishbane, who teaches about children’s and YA literature internationally. She also contributed essays to the book L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years 1911-1942, and Maud is her first novel.

Fishbane first read Anne of Green Gables when she was 11 and it inspired her studies in children’s literature. Given her experience she was approached by Lynne Missen from Penguin Canada about the possibility of writing a YA novel. Fishbane put together an outline and a few sample chapters that demonstrated her vision for the novel. After a few revisions, Fishbane was given an offer, and wrote the book in 4 and a half years.

Fishbane used letters,diaries, and journals from Montgomery to weave a story about her life. She also spent time in Prince Albert and PEI with Montgomery’ family and got the ‘ok’ from them to work on the project. Fishbane took real-life characters from Montgomery's youth, both from P.E.I. and from the year she spent living in Saskatchewan and built the story around their personalities.

The book gives a glimpse into the life of Montgomery between 1889 and 1892, starting when she was 14 years old, living with her maternal grandparents in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island (1889-1890). Maud and her friend Nate grow close, but her grandparents don’t approve of him and she is sent to live with her father and stepmother in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (then part of the Northwest Territories,1890-1891). Maud finds her stepmother intolerable and is disappointed in her father for not having any influence on the situation. Maud asks her grandparents if they will take her back and she returns to Prince Edward Island (1891-1892). The story revolves around young Maud’s dream to become a published author, earn an education, and deal with small town courtship in nineteenth century Canada.

CM Magazine: Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L. M. Montgomery. ( 
Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery (
New Montgomery book looks at author's teen years, with a twist | CBC News
Maud:A Fictional Glance Into the Life of L.M. Montgomery - Atlantic Books
Meet the Editorial Board: Melanie Fishbane | Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies(
Kingston Writers Fest - Melanie Fishbane - Kingston WritersFest - Festival 2024 from Sept 25 – 29
Guest Post: Melanie J. Fishbane, author of Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M.Montgomery, on Earning & Celebrating Success - Cynthia Leitich Smith

Marilla of Green Gables (2018)

Marilla of Green Gables Is a prequel that imagines the life of a young spinster Marilla Cuthbert and the life choices she makes in life, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century rural Prince Edward Island.

Sarah McCoy is New York Times best-selling American novelist and author of a several historical fiction books including The Mapmaker’s Children and The Baker’s Daughter.

McCoy didn’t imagine the story until 2016, when an editor at HarperCollins asked her what book would make her heart sing to write. McCoy grew up reading the Anne books with her mother and found striking similarities between her mother and Marilla. There was one pondering question in chapter 37 of Anne of Green Gables that never left McCoy and lured her into exploring more:

“What a nice-looking fellow he is,” said Marilla absently. “I saw him in church last Sunday and he seemed so tall and manly. He looks a lot like his father did at the same age. John Blythe was a nice boy. We used to be real good friends, he and I. People called him my beau.”
Anne looked up with swift interest.
“Oh, Marilla — and what happened?”

McCoy claimed that that question felt like the tip of an iceberg for the creation of another novel. She went back to the novels and circled in purple pen (in tribute to Marilla’s amethyst brooch) anytime Marilla was mentioned, spoken about, or spoke for herself.She also educated herself on Canadian history was also able to use the knowledge she accrued about the Maritimes’ role in the Underground Railroad from writing her last book (The Mapmaker’s Children.)

McCoy’s story begins 1837 when Marilla is 13 years old. Her world is turned upside down when her mother dies in childbirth and she must suddenly take the responsibilities of the farm wife at Green Gables with her brother Matthew and father Hugh. Herbudding romance with John Blythe from Avonlea offers a possibility of future happiness, but Marilla becomes emboldened by her aunt to venture beyond the safety of Green Gables to the bustling city of Halifax Nova Scotia. Marilla finds herself caught up in the world of politics and abolition, jeopardizing all she cherishes including her bond with John Blythe.

How bestselling author Sarah McCoy imagined Marilla of Green Gables' dreamscape -Quill and Quire
Sarah McCoy, a lifelong fan, returns to Green Gables with prequel - The San Diego Union-Tribune (
Marilla of Green Gables – Check it out (

Marilla Before Anne (2021)

Marilla before Anne is another prequel about the life of young spinster Marilla, published by Nimbus Publishing and written by Louise Michalos. Raised on the east coast,Michalos was the second youngest of a family of 9, with her mother being raised in a lighthouse and her father in a home that housed a post office. Marilla before Anne is her debut novel.

Michalos was looking for an east coast story and a character that audiences would be familiar with. She was also inspired by Wilson’s book Before Green Gables who wrote it at an older age. As a woman, mother, and grandmother,she wanted to know more about Marilla’s life and what brought her to the decision to adopt at the age of 52.

Her work caught the attention of Whitney Moran, managing editor of Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press, when she was giving a workshop on editing at a writers camp in September 2018. Michalos was one of the participants and spoke on the story she was working on, and Moran was struck by her ability to show a Marilla that readers had never seen before.

Some of the challenges Marilla that faces, Michalos was able to draw from her own family stories and use her own unique Maritime voice. She also used the Anne of Green Gables series of novels,including Before Green Gables, to make sure the timelines of all the characters added up.

In Marilla before Anne, readers are introduced to Marilla in 1841 when she is 17 years old. Marilla is desperately in love and secretly sneaks out to meet with her boyfriend William Baker who is an apprentice shipbuilder whose trade has brought him to PEI. Meanwhile, Marilla’s mother has plans of her own which is to see Marilla get married into the prestigious Blythe Family. Marilla’s father is more understanding, howeverpasses away before he can give his permission for William and Marilla to get married, and William is forced to leave PEI whose employer suddenly requires him to relocate. Marilla secretly becomes pregnant and gets word that William is killed. She decides to flee to Halifax and stay with her aunt Martha and gives up her child for adoption.

Marilla Before Anne by Louise Michalos | The Miramichi Reader
Author spotlight: Louise Michalos – Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia
Atlantic Books Today No. 93 - Spring 2021 by Atlantic Books Today - Issuu

After Anne (2023)

After Anne is a fictionalized novel about the adult years of Montgomery’s life after she wrote the novel Anne of Green Gables. It was published by HarperCollins and written by Logan Steiner. Logan Steiner is an American lawyer and After Anne is her debut novel.

Steiner had always wanted to be a writer since she was young and had always been interested in the life stories of writers she admired. When she read about Montgomery’s hardships, Steiner was compelled to explore more and to share her story. After the sudden unexpected death of her brother in 2014, Steiner decided to stop putting her writing career on hold and began researching for the novel in the fall of 2015. The book was accepted by Tessa Woodward at HarperCollins in September 2021, and was published in 2023.

The question that drove Steiner to write the novel was: “What drove her to develop such life-affirming characters but to write at the end of her life, ‘My position is too awful to endure and nobody realizes it’? Interview with Logan Steiner - Author of 'After Anne' — Cindy L Spear

Steiner decided to answer that question as a novel as opposed to a biography. In novel form, she would be able to better share the emotional underpinnings of Montgomery’ life and fill in some of the gaps that the journals don't cover. Steiner used Montgomery’s journals as sources as well as Mary Henley Rubio’s comprehensive biography, Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings.

The book focuses on Montgomery’s life story in three parts. Part one beings with Maud first starting to write Anne, and parts two and three show the “after”, with Anne of Green Gables becoming a success, and Montgomery having the children she always wanted. Steiner's book reveals the personal struggles that Montgomery endured during her later years in life from dealing with her husband's mental illness and him being threatened by her success, her son’s troubled behavior and run in with the law, and her trying to keep her private life hidden from her public face.

Canadian writer L.M. Montgomery's life told in novel 'After Anne' | KAXE
Q & A with Logan Steiner, Author of After Anne (
Interview with Logan Steiner - Author of 'After Anne' — Cindy L Spear
Logan Steiner Interview - After Anne ~ Jean Book Nerd
Logan Steiner | An Author Picking Herself Up in the Face of Personal Tragedy – Fresh Fiction


To watch the Anne of Green Gables films, visit GazeboTV.
To find Anne of Green Gables Books, DVDs, and Merchandise, visit ShopAtSullivan

Watch Sullivan Entertainment productions on our online streaming site called GazeboTV! Plus, explore tons of Anne-inspired merchandise at Shop At Sullivan!

Latest Posts

GazeboTV is available on iPhone/iPad, Android, Android TV, Roku, Amazon Firestick and Apple TV devices.

Stream Anne of Green Gables and more
classic shows for the whole family!

GO TO GazeboTV