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Marilla Cuthbert

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"I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose would be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk-cabbage."
This article is about Matthew Cuthbert's sister. You may be looking for Gilbert and Anne Blythe's daughter, Rilla Blythe, or Kenneth and Rilla Ford's daughter, Rilla Ford.
Marilla Cuthbert
Biographical information




Also known as
  • Miss Cuthbert
  • Aunt Marilla
Physical information


Hair colour
  • Grey
  • Black (young)
  • White (older)
Skin colour


Family information
Family members





Cuthbert family

Clubs and societies

Ladies' Aid Society

Religious views


Political party

Conservative[1] (supporter)

See also
Portrayal in other universes
  • Realart Pictures
  • RKO Radio Pictures
  • BBC
  • Nippon Animation
  • Sullivan Entertainment live-action
  • Sullivan Entertainment animated
  • Green Gables Fables
  • Ana of California
  • Project Green Gables
  • Breakthrough Entertainment
  • CBC
Related pages
"Marilla was a tall, thin woman, with angles and without curves; her dark hair showed some grey streaks and was always twisted up in a hard little knot behind with two wire hairpins stuck aggressively through it. She looked like a woman of narrow experience and rigid conscience, which she was; but there was a saving something about her mouth which, if it had been ever so slightly developed, might have been considered indicative of a sense of humour."
Anne of Green Gables[src]

Marilla Cuthbert was the sister of Matthew Cuthbert, the guardian of Anne Shirley, Davy and Dora Keith, the best friend of Rachel Lynde and a resident of Green Gables.


Early life

Marilla was born in 1824 in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, to Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert. She was raised there along with her older brother Matthew. A few years later after her birth the family moved to Green Gables, a farmhouse which was built by Marilla's father.

In September 1830, Marilla attended Avonlea School. There she met John Blythe who was said to have been interested in Marilla once, and people called him Marilla's beau. Unfortunately, they had a quarrel and Marilla never forgave him. She eventually came to regret it and likely would have forgiven John Blythe if she had another chance.

Life with Anne

Marilla and Matthew were expecting a boy to help out around the farm - instead, they got the red-headed orphan, Anne. The two of them were debating whether to keep or send Anne back, but in the end Marilla gave in to Matthew's wish and decided to bring Anne up herself.

Living with Rachel Lynde


Marilla died in 1910 before World War I and after Jem, Anne's eldest son, went away to Queen's Academy.


"Marilla Cuthbert has got mellow."
—Mrs. Rachel Lynde about Marilla[src]

Marilla Cuthbert was very good at keeping cool and hiding her emotions. When she was very happy, she became extremely emotional, but when the event was over, she quickly regained her cool demeanor. Marilla was much more formidable then Matthew, who possessed a very kind nature under his shy countenance. The only time she wasn't calm was during the storm of 1883.

Marilla had a crispness to her, as Mrs. Lynde would say. After Matthew died and Anne matured, she got very mellow and showed her emotions a bit more. Marilla was an excellent cook.


Matthew Cuthbert

Matthew Cuthbert was Marilla's brother. He was a very shy man who lived at Green Gables with her, and later Anne, until he died near the end of Anne of Green Gables.

Anne Shirley

Anne Shirley was Marilla's adopted orphan whom she originally didn't want, but later found she couldn't live without. Marilla also had trouble adjusting to Anne's growth when Anne grew taller than herself and felt than Anne was no longer a child. Marilla felt that, in some strange way, Gilbert's marriage with Anne would put right the old mistake of not forgiving his father, who was once her beau before they got into a quarrel.

Davy Keith

Davy Keith was Dora's twin brother and Marilla's relative whom she took in when Anne was sixteen. She loved him dearly, though he got into scrapes a lot. Anne once confessed to Marilla that she liked Davy better than Dora, even though Dora had practically no faults to speak of.

Dora Keith

Dora Keith was Davy's twin sister and Marilla's relative whom she took in after their parents died. She was very calm, demure and ladylike.

Rachel Lynde

"Something that for lack of any other name might be called friendship existed and always had existed between Marilla Cuthbert and Mrs. Rachel, in spite of—or perhaps because of—their dissimilarity."
Anne of Green Gables[src]

Mrs. Rachel Lynde was Marilla's best friend. She moved into Green Gables after her husband, Thomas Lynde, died. Marilla is willing to contradict Rachel for Anne's sake.

Physical appearance

"Marilla was a tall, thin woman, with angles and without curves; her dark hair showed some grey streaks and was always twisted up in a hard little knot behind with two wire hairpins stuck aggressively through it."
Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 1[src]


Marilla is a female given name, variant of Muriel or short form of Amaryllis and means shining sea.

Behind the scenes


Anne of Green Gables Wiki has 159 images of Marilla Cuthbert (view gallery).


Book appearances

Short story appearances

Notes and references

External links

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