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Ruby Gillis

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Ruby Gillis
Biographical information
Born 1865
Died August 1884
Also known as Ruby
Physical information
Gender Female
Hair colour Blonde
Eye colour Blue
Skin colour Fair
Family information
Family members
  • Mr. Gillis (father)
  • Mrs. Gillis (mother)


In-law family

  • Malcolm Andrews (brother-in-law)
Affiliation Story Club

Ruby Gillis was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gillis, sister of Susan and several Gillis girls and the friend of Anne Shirley.


Early life

Ruby was born in 1865 in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, to Mr. and Mrs. Gillis. She was raised there along with her sister Susan and several older sisters. Jane Andrews became Ruby's best friend.

School life

Ruby attended Avonlea school in September 1871 along with her best friend Jane, Diana Barry and Josie Pye. Her writing apparently had too much love-making in them, according to Anne.

Studies at Queen's Academy

Ruby joined a special class for students who wanted to become a teacher. She succesfully passed the test and in September 1880 she attended Queen's Academy. Ruby studied there for two years and graduated in June 1882. Her best friend Jane took two years' work in one year.

In September 1882 she got Carmody school and replaced Priscilla Grant in this position.


"Ruby Gillis is dying of galloping consumption."
Rachel Lynde about Ruby's illness[src]

Ruby wasn't able to teach since she had that attack of congestion in the winter 1883. She said that she wanted to teach in White Sands in the fall and marry with Herb Spencer. Ruby and her family did not want to give up on her, so they went on with their lives as if she was perfectly fine. Sadly, her inevitable death came in August 1884.


"She laughed a great deal, was cheerful and good-tempered, and enjoyed the pleasant things of life frankly."
—Ruby at Queen's[src]
"Ruby Gillis was a great girl to laugh."
Davy Keith to Anne Shirley after Ruby's funeral.[src]

Ruby was kind, positive and charming, but "frivolous" and "shallow". She made friends easily, but did not form deep relationships, which she regretted when she neared her early death.

Physical appearance

"She had large, bright-blue eyes, a brilliant complexion, and a plump showy figure. ... Ruby Gillis was the handsomest girl of the year at the Academy."
—Ruby's appearance at Queen's[src]

Ruby had pale skin, silky blonde hair and "bright, beautiful blue eyes". She was a renowned Avonlea beauty and many girls and young women were jealous of her appearance.


Ruby is a female given name of English origin and means red gemstone. It was very popular name in late 19th century.

Behind the scenes



  • Ruby's death is thematically significant in that she has not lived well in Anne's estimation but she dies well, reaching out to her estranged friends and repairing her damaged relationships. In the end, Ruby's death is pitiable but also brave and honest. One of the core themes of Anne of the Island is Anne's philosophical journey and Ruby's death is important in this context.


Anne of Green Gables Wiki has 28 images of Ruby Gillis (view gallery).


Main article: Ruby Gillis/Appearances

Book appearances

Film appearances

TV series appearances

Radio drama appearances

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