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Marilla Cuthbert is the sister of Michael and Matthew Cuthbert, and the adoptive mother of Anne Shirley-Cuthbert.


Early life[]

Marilla was born in the late 1820s in Avonlea. She grew up attending school with her brothers Matthew Cuthbert and Michael Cuthbert, and her best friend Rachel. Her older brother Michael died when Marilla and Matthew were still in school, and because of this their mother became mentally ill. Marilla cared for both her mother and her younger brother, and gave up a life with John Blythe to care for her family.

Life with Anne[]

Marilla used to live a quiet and peaceful life, but when she got Anne, everything was turned upside down.Anne loves adventure, beautiful dresses, the forest and living creatures that Marilla is unfamiliar with. They often have disagreements, but then everything works out for a good ending.

Physical appearance[]

She is a tall women with high cheekbones and thin lips. She has wise sky-blue eyes that are identical to Matthew's eyes and has black/grey hair that is roughly pulled into a bun at the back of her head.


Marilla Cuthbert can be negative and sarcastic at times, firmly held to her beliefs but she cares deeply about the people she loves and has a heart of gold. Although she initially sticks to her arguably old-fashioned ways, she does hint to having a sense of humour, allowing her to bond better with Anne in the future. While she seems cold and strict at first, she loves Anne as her own and becomes soft as Anne continues to be in her care.


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Matthew Cuthbert[]

Matthew is Marilla's younger brother. She took care of him after their brother, Micheal, died.

Anne Shirley-Cuthbert[]

Anne is Marilla and Matthew's adoptive daughter. When Matthew first brought Anne home from the train staton, Marilla wanted to send her back to the orphanage, but eventually grew to love Anne as her own daughter. Marilla, who is more traditional, doesn’t always see eye to eye with Anne, whose imagination pilots her life. Marilla starts to soften more, the longer Anne is in her care.

John Blythe[]

Marilla and John Blythe were best friends when they were younger, often sharing a kiss. However, they quarreled. John wanted to take Marilla with him when he left Avonlea. They broke up because John wanted to travel and see the world, but Marilla wanted to stay in Avonlea to take care of her brother and Green Gables.

Rachel Lynde[]

Rachel Lynde is a close friend of Marilla’s. Rachel’s gossiping and being busybody sometimes gets on Marilla’s nerves, but the two get along well most of the time and often have tea together.


Marilla is a female given name, variant of Muriel or short form of Amaryllis and means shining sea. Cuthbert is derived from the Old English word for famous and bright.

Behind the scenes[]


  • Geraldine James portrayed Marilla in the Canadian TV series Anne with an E (2017–2019).
  • Cassidy Fox played young Marilla in the flashback scenes.


  • The CBC website describes Marilla as, A self-restrained woman with no patience for sentiment or frivolity, Marilla’s dormant maternal nature and wry sense of humour are rekindled in relationship to Anne.[2]
  • According to the Cuthbert family Bible, Marilla was born on December 29, 1836.


Anne of Green Gables Wiki has 225 images of Marilla Cuthbert (view gallery).


Season 1 (Anne with an E)

Season 2 (Anne with an E)

Season 3 (Anne with an E)


See also[]