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Marilla Cuthbert is the sister of Matthew Cuthbert, the adoptive mother of Anne Shirley, and the guardian of Davy and Dora Keith.


Marilla lived with her brother, Matthew, following the deaths of their parents for a number of years, until they decided to adopt a boy from an orphanage in Nova Scotia. Marilla was taken aback when Matthew brought home a girl: Anne.

Marilla initially took Anne over to Mrs. Blewett, whom was interested in taking on the girl to help with chores around the house, but ultimately Marilla decided that she could not give Anne over to such a woman and gave her a home at Green Gables.

Anne was a great comfort to Marilla in the months following Matthew's death, as she deferred her place at Redmond College to support Marilla when her eyesight began to fail.

During this time, Marilla paid many visits to her dying relative Mary Keith and promised to take in Davy and Dora after her death.

Marilla brought home Davy and Dora after their mother's funeral and, while initially daunted by the challenges of bringing up twins, she grew to love them dearly and could not bring herself to send them away to their uncle in British Columbia.

Marilla's long-time friend, Rachel Lynde, moved into Green Gables to support her with the farm and the twins when Anne left for college, and they often looked forward to Anne's trips back to Avonlea.

Physical appearance[]



Gilbert Blythe[]

Matthew Cuthbert[]

Marilla was very close to Matthew and missed him a great deal after his death, although she still felt that he was looking after her and Anne in spirit.

Davy Keith[]

Dora Keith[]

Rachel Lynde[]

Marilla had a close and caring friendship with Rachel, even though she was often the subject of Marilla's dry humour.

Anne Shirley[]

Marilla loved Anne dearly, as she fiercely defended her to Mrs. Gardener and stayed up late into the night with Anne when they believed Gilbert to be dying.

Behind the scenes[]





Anne of Green Gables (1972)

Anne of Avonlea (1975)


See also[]