Anne and Gilbert’s Historical Romance

By November 4, 2014Actors & Interviews

Anne and Gilbert have a much adored romance, and what’s not to love? Their touching romance, despite its obstacles, makes many believe in the true power of love.

Anne Gilbert BridgeHowever, their romance was pretty unconventional for the times. Love in Edwardian times was less than romantic. A lot of the traditions and customs, including who and how you were married, depended on a major factor, class. We take a look at the traditions in Edwardian times to see how Gilbert and Anne are different than the typical historical romance.

Based in Tradition

Dating in Anne and Gilbert’s time is a far cry from today. There was no casual dating. Courting required a series of dates to be accompanied by a chaperone. That might explain why Rachel Lynde is taken aback when Gilbert takes Anne home unaccompanied.

The fact that Anne and Gilbert could see other, casually, despite his very vocal interest in her, is impressive.It often took men awhile to save up for a wedding and marriage, which may clarify Gilbert’s “sunbursts or marble halls” warning to Anne

Considerate of Hurt Feelings

Men were instructed to be careful about giving off the wrong intentions. No flirting was allowed in order to keep a man’s intention clear. Men only courted women they were interested in with the sole intent to marry them. Gilbert flirted with Anne when he was on dates with other girls, and pined after her even when engaged to another woman. Ouch.

Though it may seem strict by today’s standards, it’s kind of nice to think that people couldn’t play games the way they do nowadays.

Tough Luck for Spinsters

Though they say, “tis better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all,” Marilla’s situation is just as unconventional. Though Anne swears she’ll never marry at one point, life as a spinster would have been difficult. With little family to rely on, it would have presented some challenges in those days.

Marilla had Matthew, but single, unmarried women in those days had very few rights and were beholden to their male relatives. Unmarried women were regarded with suspicion, so it wasn’t as romantic or freeing then as Anne may have made it seem.

Despite all of these factors, Anne and Gilbert had a romance for the ages. It had bumps in the road but they figured it out and fell in love.

Re-watch the bridge scene from Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel.

Anne and Gilbert – I just want you from Sullivan Entertainment on Vimeo.

About the Author

Three time Emmy-award and Peabody-award winning Sullivan Entertainment is an international media production and distribution company. With a vast inventory of programming from all genres, including mini and long-form series, feature films, and children’s and comedy specials, the company has become renowned for providing audiences around the world primarily with lavish period escapism, for over 30 years.


  • mainegirl4 says:

    Oh that scene still makes me squishy inside after all these years <3

  • rachel says:

    Good article. It’s nice that some people still hold standards for going about a relationships in a genuine, deliberate way.

  • Lodi Daley says:

    These two lead characters of AOGG are loved by so many, Their love story models the epitome of truer, deeper adoration, and affection to each other. Although there are not many Anne and Gilbert these days, a lot of people dream and assume to be like them. Credits go to Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie for portraying the roles of Anne and Gilbert. They excellently played their part so well. I bet a lot of their loyal fans are clamoring for a movie starred by these two great Canadian actors. They are just a perfect pair.

  • Mahnoor says:

    Gilbert was never on dates with anyone! He was not engaged to Christine!!! So why does it say he lined after Anne when he was engaged??

    • irishmom58 says:

      he said they were engaged when he and Anne were in the gazebo.

    • Chubby the Death Cat says:

      Christine was his “date” at Diana’s wedding, escorting her to such a social event in a small town in those times would have shown his intention to court her (My husband has an Indian background, and bringing me to a family wedding was a big deal – going public as a couple meant that we were serious – they’re not casual about dating in his family’s culture either). Gil was engaged to Christine in the movie when he was in medical school.

    • Dusty says:

      Because he was engaged. To christine. When he was in medical school.

    • Amy says:

      They are referring to the movie, not to the books in which he was never engaged. That’s why I really love the actors and not so much the story line of the movies. I’m kind of a purist and wish they had been truer to the books in many ways.

    • candy says:

      I was thinking the same thing. That is why I hate how they changed that in the movies. People think it was in the book. Though I loved the movies, Gilbert never did those things. He was always open and direct, never lead anyone on. Though Anne’s almost engagement was very shocking.

    • Rose says:

      Yes, he was briefly engaged. Whether you watch the show or read the books again, it’s there as a brief mention.

  • macaela says:

    This Book is one of my favorites of all times….
    Gilbert and Anne are so romantic!>3

  • candy says:

    Loved the movies, but in the book Gilbert never lead anyone on or was engaged to another. It was Anne and Anne alone.

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