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Philippa was born in 1865 in Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia, to Mr. and Mrs. Gordon. She was raised in their house, Mount Holly. In September 1871, at the age of six, Philippa attended Bolingbroke school. She was very popular in the school and had many friends and admirers.
From an early age, Philippa was known as a 'beauty' and was well aware of it, in an unusually unaffected way. The possessor of a bewitching smile and beautiful brown eyes, Philippa was known for having many 'beaux'. However, she did not consider these 'beaux' seriously and rather looked on them as playfellows.
Prone to indecision, it was a wonder that Philippa ever decided to attend the prestigious Redmond College in Kingsport. However, Her father had decided for her and his decision was finally seconded by Philippa, who did not want to marry yet. Not that she did not have many choices, though. Philippa had managed to narrow down her beaux to two rich young men, Alec and Alonzo, who lived in Bolingbroke. She did, however, have affections for Gilbert Blythe, and was shocked that Anne would have refused his (first) proposal.
Even at Redmond, 'Phil' led an extremely sociable life from the first year onward. As her friends, Anne and Priscilla were immediately drawn into circles they would not have managed to make it into without Phil's beauty and fame at Redmond.
It was well known that Philippa entertained callers nearly every evening, therefore, it was surprising that she should be able to have such high grades. She was head of every class, due to her 'heaps of brains', excepting English, where Anne pulled far ahead.
Phil was extremely extravagant. "Honey, can you imagine me as the wife of a poor man?" she once said. Thus, she deemed it necessary to marry a rich man. In her eyes, the only two men she could possibly ever marry were Alec and Alonzo, back home in Bolingbroke. That is, until she met Jonas Blake at a boarding house during summer vacation. Despite his extreme outer ugliness, Jonas was an outstanding minister and a thoughtful, compassionate man. However, his hopes and plans for the future were to live in the slums and preach to the people there.
Though her mother was scandalized at first, Phil was determined to marry her Jonas — as soon as he asked her. Her father gave her no grief over the matter, owing to the fact that there 'was a soft spot in his heart' because 'his daddy was a minister'. Philippa loved Jonas, and the couple had two sons, later to fight in World War I.
- "Even Billy Andrews' boy is going—and Jane's only son—and Diana's little Jack. Priscilla's son has gone from Japan and Stella's from Vancouver—and both the Rev. Jo's boys. Philippa writes that her boys 'went right away, not being afflicted with her indecision.'"
- —Anne tells Ingleside news of the boys going off to war[src]
Philippa was a lively, intelligent personage, infamous for her indecisiveness, loved wherever she went due to her exceptional beauty, mirth and comicality.
- "She was certainly very pretty, with a vivid, irregular, bewitching type of prettiness. There was a gloss as of brown nuts on her satin-smooth hair and a soft, ripe glow on her round cheeks. Her eyes were big and brown and velvety, under oddly-pointed black brows, and her crooked mouth was rose-red."
- —Anne and Priscilla's first sight of Phil[src]
Philippa is a female given name of Greek origin and means horse lover. This name was used mainly in the 19th century.
Behind the scenes
|Anne of Green Gables Wiki has 67 images of Philippa Gordon (view gallery).|