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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 Gilbert and Anne Blythe's daughter. You may be looking for her daughter, Rilla Ford, or Matthew Cuthbert's sister, Marilla Cuthbert.

Bertha Marilla "Rilla" Ford (née Blythe) was the youngest daughter of Anne and Gilbert Blythe, the younger sister of Joyce, Jem, Walter, Nan, Di and Shirley Blythe, the wife of Kenneth Ford and the mother of Gilbert and Rilla Ford.

BiographyEdit

BirthEdit

Rilla was born on the coldest July night of 1899 in Ingleside, Glen St. Mary, to Anne and Gilbert Blythe as their youngest child. She was named Bertha Marilla - after her maternal grandmother Bertha Shirley and her mother's guardian Marilla Cuthbert.

When she was born, her older siblings weren't at home. Walter reluctantly went to stay at Dr. Parker's house, although he believed that his parents were trying to get rid of him and he was scared because he thought that instead of having a baby, their mother was going to die. However, Rilla was the sweetest baby, weighing eight pounds at birth and had unusually long eyelashes, according to Gilbert, Anne and Susan. She had a cat named Jack Frost.

Nurse: "She looks so cunning when she is asleep. I never saw a baby that crinkled its eyes like that when it went to sleep."
Anne: "She is a miracle. All our babies were sweet, Gilbert, but she is the sweetest of them all."
Mary Maria: "Lord love you, there's been a few babies in the world before, you know, Annie."
Walter: "Our baby has never been in the world before, Aunt Mary Maria."
Anne and her family commenting on the newborn Rilla's looks.[src]

ChildhoodEdit

Rilla was described as roly-poly during her childhood, and she had a very decided lisp. Once, she believed that her father was a murderer. Rilla had gotten into her share of adventures, such as throwing one of Susan's silver-and-white cake into the creek because she misheard a conversation came to believe that it was disgraceful to be seen carrying a cake. When Rilla saw her favourite teacher carrying a cake to church, Rilla was torn between what she thought was disgraceful and knowing her teacher would not do something disgraceful either. When her mother learned about the incident, Anne understood and assured Rilla that she nor her father nor Susan would ever ask Rilla to do anything disgraceful. In Rainbow Valley, she was chased around the Glen village by Mary Vance, a visitor at the Meredith home, with a dried codfish, since Rilla was "strutting" about in her best dress, and Mary thought her very stuck-up.

World War IEdit

Rilla was fifteen years old by the time the rest of her siblings were starting their own lives away from Ingleside. Rilla did not have any ambition nor did she want to have any. She said there had to be at least one dunce in every family, and she was perfectly comfortable with the idea, being young, romantic, and carefree. This changed forever with the outbreak of World War I, and Jem enlisting to go and fight overseas, as well as the Meredith boys and eventually Walter and Shirley. (Fred Arnold also tried to court her before he left for the war-front.) Rilla was devastated when Walter was killed in the war, but soon continued bravely on with life. Rilla adopted a war-baby, did her share of work with the Red Cross, and as it turns out, everything that happened made a woman out of Rilla. She found Kenneth Ford waiting at the door for her after the war has ended.

Later lifeEdit

Although Rilla contemplates going to study Household Science with Una, she does not because Kenneth Ford returns from the Great War and the two wed and have two children, Gilbert and Rilla

PersonalityEdit

Rilla would often become upset if people called her a little girl when she was almost fifteen. She became jealous easily, if anyone had something that she didn't.

Physical appearanceEdit

"She had great, dreamy, hazel eyes, a milky skin dappled with little golden freckles, and delicately arched eyebrows, giving her a demure, questioning look which made people, especially lads in their teens, want to answer it. Her hair was ripely, ruddily brown and a little dent in her upper lip looked as if some good fairy had pressed it in with her finger at Rilla's christening."
Rilla of Ingleside, Chapter 2[src]

EtymologyEdit

Bertha is a female given name of Old German origin and means bright, famous. Marilla is a female given name, variant of Muriel or short form of Amaryllis and means shining sea.

Rilla is a female given name of German origin and means little brook.

  • Rilla was named after her maternal grandmother, Bertha Shirley, and mother's guardian, Marilla Cuthbert.
  • Rilla named her only daughter after herself.

Behind the scenesEdit

Portrayal

Trivia

  • Rilla was the only child seen being born at Ingleside and the third child in all to have their birth described (first was Joyce and second one was Jem).
  • Rilla was the only Blythe girl who looked like both her parents with red hair like Anne and Gilbert's hazel eyes. (Nan inherited her father's brown hair and hazel eyes and Diana resembled her mother, with her red hair and green eyes.)
  • Jem and Rilla were the only Blythe children who looked like both their parents, they were redheaded and had hazel eyes. (Nan and Shirley resembled their father Gilbert, Di looked similar to Anne, and Walter had dark grey eyes and black hair and did not resemble any known relative.)

GalleryEdit

Anne of Green Gables Wiki has 6 images of Rilla Blythe (view category).

AppearancesEdit

Book appearances

Short story appearances

  • The Road to Yesterday
    • "The Cheated Child" (mentioned only)
    • "The Pot and the Kettle" (mentioned only)
    • "Here Comes the Bride"
    • "The Road to Yesterday" (mentioned only)
  • The Blythes Are Quoted
    • "The Cheated Child" (mentioned only)
    • "The Pot and the Kettle" (mentioned only)
    • "Interlude"
    • "Wind of Autumn"
    • "I Know"
    • "May Song"
    • "Here Comes the Bride"
    • "Canadian Twilight"
    • "The Road to Yesterday" (mentioned only)

Film appearances

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