Ah, I'd never thought about Rilla of Ingleside
being contemporary to the war! That's cool. The war was foreshadowed in Rainbow Valley, IIRC - when was that written? I liked some aspects of Rilla
(reread it quite recently on Project Gutenberg) but thought it tried to cram too many years of war into a short book, and the romantic in me hated to see the idealistic and cheerful Anne turn somewhat bitter and bleak. There are some characters you just don't want to follow into middle age and cynicism, you know?
The Anne books are
kind of sneakily feminist. I never really picked up on it when I read the books as a kid, but Anne was a blimmin' genius. She taught herself Latin and Greek, was a schoolteacher at 16, got scholarships galore, was a published author - she certainly isn't made into a bluestocking or a swot, and her intelligence is somewhat compromised by the aforementioned wittering on about fairies, but in real life she'd be hailed as a prodigy and Renaissance woman. Plus the whole flatting-student-away-from-home thing is surprisingly modern. And
she could cook. So that's cool, I guess. Of course as a teenager I was more interested in her relationship with Gilbert.