Warning: If you have a visual impairment, use the manuscript transcript version including the Lucy Maud Montgomery’s foot notes and contextual annotation references.

Chapter 2


She had been watching him ever since he had passed her and she had her eyes on him now. Matthew was not looking at her and would not have seen what she was really like if he had been, but an ordinary observer would have seen this; a child of about eleven, garbed in a very short, (begin subscript)^(end subscript)(begin superscript)very tight(end superscript) very ugly dress of yellowish gray wincey. She wore a (begin subscript)^(end subscript)(begin superscript)faded(end superscript) brown sailor hat and beneath the hat, (begin subscript)^(end subscript)(begin superscript)extending down her back,(end superscript) were two braids of very thick, decidedly red hair. Her face was small, white and thin, also much freckled; her mouth was large and so were her eyes, that looked green in some lights (begin subscript)^(end subscript)(begin superscript)and moods(end superscript) and gray in others.

So far, the ordinary observer; an extraordinary observer might have seen that the chin was pointed




green cloth cover of the novel featuring a thin red-haired girl in a green dress sitting on a stack of wood.

"wincey" is another name for linsey-woolsey, which is a fabric with a linen warp and woolen weft. It can be twill or plain-woven. By the 1880s–90s, "wincey" would have been considered unfashionable and used for cheap, sturdy clothes. Readers in 1908 would have easily recognized this connotation. This 1964 cover of the novel shows Anne, perched on a stack of wood, in her "very ugly" dress.


"decidedly red hair": Red hair has been despised and also revered in cultures throughout history. Juliet McMaster said, "Anne's flaming red hair is her visible and identifying sign: it is what gives her her mythopoetic power and makes the helpless orphan denizen of a small Canadian island a heroine for all seasons and all climes, 'popular' in the widest sense (from "Taking Control: Hair Red, Black, Gold, and Nut-Brown," Making Avonlea, edited by Irene Gammel, University of Toronto Press, 2002, p. 58).