Mr. Darcy vs. Gilbert Blythe

I recently read Lorilee Craker’s new memoir Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, & Me. Craker’s story began with a simple question from her daughter while reading Anne of Green Gables: “What’s an orphan?” This question kicked off a poignant exploration of grace, adoption, and belonging—and a glimpse into the orphan in each of us.

Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me

One of my favorite chapters was where Craker explored her literary crush on Gilbert Blythe, drawing parallels to her own life. When she offered to post about the relative merits of Gilbert Blythe vs. Mr. Darcy, I couldn’t say no (even if I wasn’t exactly sure who I wanted to win this particular celebrity match).

I’m delighted to welcome Lorilee Craker to the blog:

Mr. Darcy vs. Gilbert Blythe

A friend of mine, who, with her carroty hair, sparkling eyes, and huge scope for the imagination reminds me of Anne of Green Gables, told me about the time Gilbert Blythe came up in her English Lit college class. Apparently, whatever was being discussed in English Lit was completely blown off for the entirety of the class.

As the Gil Fangirls fanned themselves, sighed, and clasped their bosoms rapturously, the guy’s eyes widened with alarm.

“What is happening right now?” he asked, confused. “What is going on here?”

He had never heard of Gilbert Blythe, and here his fourteen classmates were practically losing consciousness over the man.

“But … he’s fictional, right?”

Right, and wrong. To legions of Gilbert fans, the character may be fictional, but the way he makes us feel—like he’s somehow our first love, or our fish that got away—is pure non-fiction.

It reminds me of the way Mr. Darcy elicits similar emotions in women globe-wide: Devotion, awe, and swooning at a moment’s notice. I also quite fancy Mr. Darcy, as my husband can attest.

Darcy and Gilbert: How are these two Lit Crushes different and how are they the same? I’m glad you asked, because what could be more fun than comparing and contrasting the two leading men to end all leading men?

Fitzwilliam Darcy or Gilbert Blythe? Who smolders more? 9 Comparisons:

Darcy vs. Gilbert


Aloof Romantic Hero vs. Boy Next Do.or


Pemberley vs. Avonlea


Exceeding £10,000 a year, with a mansion thrown in. vs. $575 per year, CDN (that is, when he became a doctor. Before that, peanuts).

Gilbert Blythe can attest that teasing a girl to get her attention is never a good idea

First meeting:

Darcy: At a neighborhood ball, Darcy insults Lizzie by refusing to dance with her, and worse, by making condescending remarks about her.

Gilbert: On Anne’s first day at Avonlea School, Gilbert insults Anne by tugging on her braids, and worse, by making the disparaging comparison of her hair color to carrots. (Uh oh!)

Where he goes seriously wrong:

Darcy: Lizzie discovers that Darcy interfered in Bingley and Jane’s budding relationship (Note to Darcy: Telling your best friend that the girl he fancies isn’t good enough for him will probably come back to bite you, especially if the girl’s sister is someone you fancy, deep, deep down.) Plus, Mr. Wickham makes up a bunch of junk about Darcy, all of which causes Lizzie to dislike Darcy intensely.

Gilbert: He already went seriously wrong when he called her Carrots; however, Gilbert’s feeble attempt at flirting just moments later by handing Anne a candy heart with the words “You are sweet” only fuels her intense dislike of him.

Where he proposes prematurely:

Darcy: gets over himself long enough to declare his love for Lizzie and propose marriage, although he is compelled to remind her of their huge gap in social standing. The answer: When hell freezes over, and let’s not really be friends.

Gilbert: gets up the courage to ask the girl he’s loved for YEARS to marry him, which does not go well. Answer: Let’s just be friends.

Mr Darcy lake scene

Filmed pond scene:

Darcy: Colin Firth as Darcy emerges from a swim in the pond at Pemberley, fully dressed and simmering with repressed feelings, as he comes upon a flummoxed Lizzie unexpectedly. (Not in the book!)

Gilbert: Jonathan Crombie (may he rest in peace) as Gilbert rows his dory on Barry’s Pond, fully dressed and simmering with repressed feelings, as he comes upon a flummoxed Anne, clinging to the underside of a bridge, unexpectedly. (It’s in the book!)

Act of swoon-worthy gallantry:

Darcy: On discovering that Lizzie’s sister Lydia had run off with vile Wickham, Darcy tracks them down and persuades Wickham (to the tune of 10,000 pounds?) to marry Lydia, thus saving Lizzie’s family from social disgrace.

Gilbert: On discovering that Matthew Cuthbert, Anne’s adoptive father, had died, and therefore leaving Marilla Cuthbert all alone, Gilbert tracks down the Avonlea school board to persuade them to let Anne have the local school teaching post while he takes a far away, inconvenient teaching post, thus allowing Anne to remain at Green Gables.

What he says when he can’t bear to suppress his yearnings a moment more:

Darcy: “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Gilbert: “I have a dream…I persist in dreaming it, although it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. I dream of a home with a hearth-fire in it, a cat and dog, the footsteps of friends – and you!”

In the final analysis, both Lit Crushes smolder like a camp fire—no wonder we love ’em! Both got off on the wrong foot with their ladies, both proposed before it was time, and both displayed endearing gallantry and yearning.

Darcy is fairly irresistible, tis true, but it comes down to this: Even F. Darcy, Gentleman, can’t hold a candle to the constancy, the steadfastness, the inextinguishable flame of yearning that burned in Gilbert’s heart for Anne of Green Gables. And therefore for me, it will always be Gilbert for the win.

Do you have a fictional favorite? Tell us all about it in comments. 


  1. Ashley says:

    I was thinking of my all time favorite books. Since Anne zis at the top that means Gilbert is too. Although I must admit to a crush on Laurie (Little Women). Oddly there were no crushes for me in Harry Potter. Maybe because I read them when I was older. I wonder who, if anyone, is swoon worthy in those books for the tweens reading them now?

    • Whitney Keys says:

      I read them as I was growing up and never really had a crush on anyone, although I did love Sirius Black and thought the guy who played Oliver Wood in the movies was cuuuuute! I think for me the books made me crave strong friendships more than inspiring a crush.

    • Angela says:

      Coming as someone who read Harry Potter between high school and college, everyone I knew had a crush on a different character, from Sirius to Lupin to Malfoy to Cedric Diggory or a Weasley, but strangely never Harry himself. I was the odd one with the crush on Ron, who, admittedly, still could never hold a candle to Gilbert Blythe (or Laurie.).

    • Suzanne Herzberg says:

      I’m going to throw a few more obscure, dreamy, literary heart throbs into the mix. Summer of My German Soldier has you just wanting to hug Anton Reiker through the WHOLE novel or hold his hand or something so that you’re extra close because he’s strong, kind, wise and self sacrificing. I ball my eyes out and wish it ended a million different ways than the way it does. Then there’s the novel Christy with two handsome hunks to chose from. One is young, tall, dark , handsome and passionate of course you want to fall into his arms but Dr. McNeil, his rival is equally as qualified to steal our hearts in totally different ways. Dr. McNeil is gruff and rough around the edges but his heart is made if gold and he makes you want to be kissed by someone that knows you need to be kissed and how!!!

    • Danielle says:

      What a great post! I find myself wishing I had been in that lit class for the discussion. Gilbert’s very human progression as a boy growing into a man always appealed to me, and the continuing story of him in Anne of Ingleside always returns me to their love story wholeheartedly…

  2. Whitney says:

    I really loved Anne of Green Gables as a child. I read the whole series, and really loved Gilbert. I read Pride and Prejudice in high school and also loveD Darcy. It’s so hard to choose be

  3. Robin says:

    I didn’t read the Anne books until I read them to my children, but I loved the movies. I’d agree that the win goes to Gilbert!

  4. Heather says:

    Hard to choose, but I think am gonna say Gilbert. Then again, I married the boy next door with a giant heart so I’m totally biased.

  5. Leslie MP says:

    Oh! Well, I will acknowledge my very first fictional crush was Laurie from Little Women simply because I read that first. I read P&P and Anne about the same time not long after that. So hard! I don’t know if I can choose between Gilbert and Darcy.

  6. Megan says:

    I have to go with Gilbert, probably because he seems more real. Rich, handsome dudes like Darcy don’t seem to be easy to find; the P&P storyline is more fairytale-like and I prefer a touch of realism. Love both in their own way, though!

  7. Jeannie says:

    Great post, Anne. Definitely Gilbert for me, all the way.
    BTW I’m pouting up here north of the border because Canadians can’t enter a contest to win a book inspired by the quintessential Canadian book. Grrr. OK, I’m over it now. 🙂

  8. Sara K. says:

    I’m a “boy-next-door” kind of girl so that means my vote goes to Gilbert! To his credit, I think he attempts to pull out of his initial nosedive much faster than Mr. Darcy though it takes even longer to recover his lady’s affections. Stubborn girl 🙂

  9. Katy says:

    I cannot wait to share Anne with my daughter and have wonderful conversations about books. She is 14 mths old. The first book I ever read to her was the kid lit Pride and Prejudice. When she was a newborn, I would also sometimes read parts of Anne to her. And while I love them both, is have to go with Gilbert!

  10. Monica says:

    Darcy is probably the all time favorite but in high school I met and crushed on Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre. Mr. Knightly and Colonel Brandon also spring to mind.

  11. Wendy P. says:

    I just love Gilbert. I think a man who can consistently see through your foolishness, and still love you- he is the man for me. Oh, and be good to you when you don’t deserve it. I just love him!

  12. jana harris says:

    I was very much in loveee with Gilbert! Reading this book when I was 12 or 13. But I think I admire him now even more! Anne was such a strong young woman and he was her rock! always there for her!

  13. Alanna says:

    Gilbert! Gilbert all the way. Even more so because the books continue, and we get to their love story continue through the years.

  14. Rebecca says:

    Two of my all time favorite books! How to choose? I did read Anne several times before I ever read P&P, so I guess Gilbert!

  15. Beth Anne says:

    So hard to pick between these two!! I love Darcy’s pursuit of Elizabeth, including his sacrifices for her unworthy family.

  16. Natalie says:

    Oh how I love Gil and Mr. Darcy BUT I recently discovered Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. Mr. Thornton…oh…Mr. Thornton! I dare say that I think he has become first in my book.

    PS…Richard Armitage plays a WONDERFUL Mr. Thornton in the BBC series that is streaming on Netflix currently.

    and I think out of the two you list I’d pick Mr. Darcy….although Gil is so close!

  17. Chris says:

    This is one group of books I never read as a child – I’m making up for lost time. I just finished Anne of the Island and am enjoying the series.

  18. Laurel says:

    Oh, Gilbert always. Mr. Darcy is fabulous, Of course, but Gilbert is unflagging in his courtship of that girl we all identify with. If he could love her with all her faults, then maybe someone could love me with mine. (I found my Gil…)

  19. Lindsay says:

    I’d have to say Gilbert, if only because it seems that one’s chances of meeting their own Gilbert in real life seems more likely. I don’t think I’ve ever actually met a Darcy (probably run in the wrong social circles ;-)), but I think my husband could stand being compared to Gilbert.

  20. Abbie Smith says:

    I loved Gilbert since I was a young girl first falling in love with books themselves. He and the Anne books have a very special place in my heart!

  21. Jessica Bodoh says:

    I was a little nervous reading this, not knowing who would win or even who I wanted to win. You are right, it’s Gilbert, it’s always Gilbert.

  22. s says:

    I am afraid to admit I never read either of these in entirety but now I must! From your descriptions, I favor the boy next door, Gilbert. Recently, I adored Finch in All the Bright Places, even if he broke my heart.

  23. Wyndi says:

    My daughter is 2, and I CANNOT WAIT to read the books when she’s old enough to understand a little. We watch the movies when one of us is sick and just needs a lot of cuddles.

  24. C. Ousley says:

    I just read Anne of Green Gables for the first time this year (at age 27! I don’t know what took me so long!) and Gilbert immediately jumped to the front of my literary crushes. Mr. Darcy is high on the list, but he still falls behind John and Laurie of Little Women, Ron of Harry Potter and Colonel Brandon.

  25. Jess says:

    Well now I’ll have to read Anne of Green Gables again to reevaluate. Darcy vs. Gilbert, let’s add Wentworth in just for fun too!

    • Carol Graft says:

      It’s been so very long since I’ve read them. Time to refresh my memory. Recently watched the BBC P&P. Darcy is dashing for sure. Hard to choose. Haven’t read the books but movie versions of Legolas and Aragon, dreamy….
      I honestly can’t think who my literary crushes were. But between Darcy and Gil..Gil. more real life.

  26. Megan says:

    Wow, this is a tough one! I love them both so much! I think I have to go with Gilbert, as well. I think Gilbert and Anne would have a better chance for marital bliss, given their long-standing friendship.

  27. Anna says:

    Gilbert, hands down! I think I’ve read all 8 “Anne” books at least five or six times. I used to pretend I was Anne, just so I could pretend Gilbert was mine!

  28. Melodee says:

    How fun! I hadn’t ever considered how many similarities there were. But Gilbert has to get my vote; I’ll always choose “boy next door” over “aloof romantic hero.”

  29. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, how I love this comparison!! Both of these books have such special places in my heart, as do their respective heroes 🙂 So hard for me to choose which is better! So many good thoughts here though 🙂 Love me some Gilbert and some Darcy!

  30. Tonya says:

    My fictional crush has always been Atticus Finch. He was a good dad to his children and I find that irresistible.

  31. Jaime says:

    Gilbert hands down! I also married a boy next door sweetheart type. Probably my favorite adult crush has to be Atticus Finch. True that TKM is not a romantic story, but there’s something about the man. Gregory Peck playing him in the movie probably helped, too!

  32. Shannon says:

    For me, Gilbert will always win. I think Mr. Darcy has some Austin competition in the form of Captain Wentworth. I would have a tough time choosing between those two. 🙂

  33. Kristin says:

    I vote Darcy, though perhaps because I have been in love with him for at least 15 years (along with all his movie and spinoff versions) and I just met Gilbert (in any form) when I first read the Anne of Green Gables series a couple months ago. While I married the boy next door, there is something extra dreamy and wonderful about the fairy tale of a rich and dashing hero. If you are going to dream, dream big, right?

  34. Anna says:

    I like Jane Austin but I was never a die hard “follower” about her books. But L.M Montgomery. I’ve read them all. Even journals. I will always love Gilbert the best (even though I maybe prefer Emily to Anne).

    • Joanna says:

      I feel the same way. Die-hard LMM fan here. Her journals were fantastic, if very sad, to read through. The Blue Castle has always been my favorite.

  35. Selena pallas says:

    I will hang my head in shame… I’ve never read the Anne of Green Gables series. It’s on my TBR list. So based on that fact Darcy holds a special place in my heart (as does Rhett Buttler from Gone with the Wind). I’m going to add Anne to my TBR list and share them with my girls.

  36. Kirsten Daniel says:

    I first saw the Anne movies when I was about 10. I bonded with my “kindred spirit” best friend during a flight when we both discovered how much we loved Anne (& Gilbert). We still, on occasion (though not nearly as often as now we both have children and live in different cities), have Anne days, where we watch Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea in one day, make recipes from the books (raspberry cordial, plum pudding), and eat a lot of chocolate and fried food. Its one of my favorite ways to spend a day – ever. Once our daughters get a little older, we’ll have them join in the fun. So while I would enjoy living in Regency England in a grand palace, I’d have to go with Gilbert. I was so sad to hear this summer that Jonathan Crombie had passed away, but as my kindred spirit said when she heard the news, Gilbert will always live on.
    PS – I also like Edward & Col. Brandon in Sense and Sensibility. The book sounds like a fascinating read, especially since I have 2 little girls who are very inquisitive.

    • I love all these references to “The Blue Castle,” one of my favorite LMM books. I recently found out there is a town in Ontario, Bala, within driving distance to my Michigan home, where LMM set “The Blue Castle.” Apparently it has an LMM museum and lots of memorabilia. Road trip anyone? Would be fun! 🙂

  37. Ruth says:

    My husband learned to love Mr. Darcy while we were dating, but he hasn’t met Gilbert yet. I ‘ve been rereading the books, so its probably time. 🙂

  38. Laura says:

    I love Gilbert but also really like Captain Wentworth from the BBCversion of Persuasion, and Johnny Lee Miller as Edmund Bertram. Man, I’m a sap!

  39. Lindsey H. says:

    Anne of Green Gables is my all-time favorite! I have a huge crush on Gilbert! I can not wait to read these books to my daughter and to watch the movies!!!

  40. Southern Gal says:

    Oh, it has to be Gilbert Blythe.

    It’s feeling a little like fall in the mornings which is always the signal for me to bring out the Anne of Green Gables movies. Somehow fall and Anne go hand in hand.

    (I just started reading Edenbrooke from your recommendation. ;))

  41. This is honestly a conflicting decision! Both are terrific gentlemen. I so appreciate this post! If I had to choose, I grew up with Anne of Green Gables so Gilbert Blythe 🙂 Thank you for doing this comparison!

  42. Loretta Davis says:

    Anne of Green Gables is my all time favorite book and movie – I just loved everything about it – I have begged people to read it, watch it and if they don’t, they have NO IDEA what they are missing…I wish there could be anything as good as this again:)!!!

  43. Jennifer W says:

    My pick depends on which I’ve read most recently. So today, it’s Mr. Darcy. But now I have the urge to read Anne, so soon I will be swooning over Gil again. *sigh*

  44. Elizabeth Brink says:

    I’m a Gilbert girl for sure! The friendship that blossoms into romance is a storyline I particularly love. 🙂

  45. Beth says:

    I cannot believe I didn’t read Anne of GG until I was 50! I loved it, but still my favorite novel is Jane Eyre, so I need to go with Edward Rochester.

  46. Whitney Keys says:

    Darcy is better for a fictional read; someone I’d love to have admiring me. Gilbert is a more real life, grow old with him kind of love. Very fun read!

  47. Michele Magnuson says:

    I’ve always been quite partial to Mr Darcy as well. Although growing up our bed time stories were from Norse mythology (Icelandic heritage) and I will admit that as a child I was drawn to the antics of Loki, long before Marvel, and Tom Hiddleston came around and made him into a swoon worthy comic/movie character. I guess I’ve always had a bad-boy complex.

  48. Missy G. says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m having ALL THE FEELS right now. I’m not ashamed to admit that I teared up a bit while reading this post. How could I say anyone other than Gilbert?

  49. Melissa D says:

    Gilbert, because picturing them both in their underwear has Gil edging out Mr. Darcy for the win. (Although I think Mr.D would have called them “smalls.”)

    They definitely tie for Best Touseled Hair, though…

  50. Kim says:

    It will always be Gil, for me.

    Thanks bringing this book to my attention. I am also an adoptive mom, and adoptee, that shares a love of AOGG with my daughter. This book sounds like it was written about us!

  51. Susan says:

    I’d always rather read Austen. But Gilbert wins, hands-down. And if you met my husband you’d see that I didn’t land too far off the mark.

  52. Laura W says:

    While I love Gil for Anne, I’m partial to Darcy myself. He’s a little more real and fleshed out, with more endearing faults (his love for Lizzy chief among them.)

  53. Denise says:

    Aaah, Gilbert. I used to wish that I could fall in love with someone I knew from childhood just so it could be like Anne & Gilbert. (Looking back, I’m just fine that didn’t happen!)

  54. Based on the number of comments already submitted, my chances of winning a book look slim. But I must say, Anne of Green Gables was always a favorite of mine. Would love to share this book with my granddaughter. And I HAVE been to Prince Edward Island, and I did convince my husband to visit Anne’s “home” there! This was a fun blog entry — loved the comparisons.

  55. Marisa says:

    Peter Wimsey for me!

    With all due respect for the gathered fan clubs, neither Gilbert nor Mr. Darcy ever did it for me. Peter Wimsey on the other hand–with his dry wit, perfect manners, brilliant brain, and self-effacing embarrassment–(sigh!)

  56. Jennifer G says:

    Oh but you forget! Gil got engaged to another girl in between plus had a brush with death. Not so vanilla at all. As much as I love Darcy, I’d be a doctor’s wife for Gilbert.

    • B Clark says:

      No, he wasn’t actually engaged. He knew that she was engaged to somebody back home, but they did attend events together and such.

      • stephanie says:

        In the movie version he did get engaged to her, but broke it off as he said it was not fair to her because his heart was with Anne. Not sure about the book as I have only read one in the series.

  57. Kara says:

    At first I was a little upset you would even pit the two against each other. After reading it I must say I quite enjoyed it. I am a Gilbert fan myself and I agree with why he won! He’s always been my Literary crush!

  58. Miranda says:

    How can I choose between 2 all-time favorites?!?! I have read the P&P and the Anne books so many times and those 2 characters never get old. What a fun post today!

  59. Cheryl V. says:

    I love this post. Two of my fictional crushes in one place. As much as I love Mr. Darcy, Gilbert will forever be my number one. I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time in 3rd grade and it has been my favorite ever since. I watched the mini series soon after and, again, it is has been in rotation ever since.
    I love Gilbert. Always will. He is the perfect fictional crush.

  60. Michelle says:

    I watched Anne of Green Gables as a young girl so Gilbert was my first crush. But I watched P&P as a young adult and my heart flutters when I think of Mr. Darcy 🙂 Two wonderful characters!

  61. Susan says:

    I started reading this post with trepidation. At first glance the two leading men seem so different. Great job comparing them. For me, it will always be Gilbert. ?

  62. Valerie says:

    Gilbert made me swoon but then I found James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser of Outlander has taken his place. Yes, he is now my fictional crush. He is the man I compare my husband with, my provider and protector. So, does that make me a fictional love cheat or can I switch up my fictional love interest?

  63. Sara says:

    I never thought of some of those comparisons between Mr. Darcy and Gilbert. In fact I never thought about making a choice of which one was better. If anyone but Jonathan Crombie (RIP) had played Gilbert I don’t know if I would have liked it as much. I have read all the books too, but saw the movies first, so Gilbert will always be Jonathan’s Gilbert. I visited Prince Edward Island every summer when I was a child and it still is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

  64. Dana Qualls says:

    I love Mr. Darcy and since I haven’t read Anne of Green Gables (yet) I have to say he was my choice for the win in this contest. That may change in the near future. 🙂 As a child my devotion was to Laurie Laurance in Little Women. More recently there was Aragorn and Legolas in The Lord of the Ring Trilogy. Sigh. What on earth would we do without books-digital or otherwise!

  65. Peggy kelly says:

    Definitely Gilbert! He is everything good. Even engaged to another he gives her up because it wasn’t right. He was willing to wait. He loved from afar. Always Gilbert!

  66. Larissa says:

    While I loved Darcy, I’d have to go with Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings. From the first time that I read the series as a kid, I loved the rugged, quiet nature of Aragorn and his unfailing loyalty to his comrades. Add in his dominance on the battlefield and you have me swooning!

  67. Cathleen says:

    My first literary crush was Logan from The Babysitter’s Club series. I’d have to say between Gilbert and Darcy, I’d still vote for Darcy, but if we’re looking at all Jane Austen, then it’s Captain Wentworth. (sigh)

  68. Theresa says:

    Gilbert’s steadfastness is what wins me over time and again. That and he was the boy next door- that could’ve literally been any of the boys I grew up with! Unlike Darcy, to meet someone like him would’ve been nearly impossible.

  69. Stacey says:

    Gil is my all time favorite. Every guy I dated was always compared to him! I chose the boy next door type and haven’t regretted it! 😉 I always told my husband that I’d name my son after Gilbert. No sons and three daughters later, I gave my youngest daughter the middle name Anne and called it good 🙂

  70. I love Gilbert from the BOOK! If it is Gilbert from the movies then i definitely go for Darcy every time. I don’t think movie Gilbert captured the strong, rugged, hard working young man.

  71. brianna Ecklid says:

    Girl. Always and forever. He never tried to own her, and even when he didn’t understand her fiercely independent streak (and often told her off about her stubbornness) he still loved and admired her for it. He was my first crush as a child and remains so.

  72. Jeannie Reid says:

    I remember falling for Almanzo (sp??) in Little House on the Prairie. It gave me hope that maybe someday I’d find someone who’d put up with my spunky Laura-like ways. (I did, praise the Lord!)

  73. Abby says:

    I planned a book-themed icebreaker for a work meeting… I work for a literacy nonprofit and I was HORRIFIED at how many people did not recognize Anne or Gil in the activity 🙁

  74. Amber says:

    I don’t have an opinion between the two, as I’ve never read AoGG, though it was totally in my generation. Not sure how I missed it. My best friend in college loved it. Gotta get it on the list!

    This post was a great read!

  75. Meg says:

    Love both of these gentlemen so much! When my sister and I were growing up we would pretend to be Anne and Diana, Gilbert will always be first for me.

  76. Abby says:

    I planned a book-themed icebreaker for a work meeting… I work for a literacy nonprofit and I was HORRIFIED at how many people did not recognize Anne or Gil in the activity 🙁 Gilbert Blythe is miles ahead of all other literary men in my book.

  77. Hilary says:

    Gilbert all the way! He was what Anne always needed most: competitor, friend, true love, husband, comforter, great father. He’s the best.

  78. Emma Manolis says:

    This is coming at a perfect time for me! I’m in the middle of reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time after loving the movie my entire life! Now that I see how accurate the movie was in the portrayal of Gilbert, this is an easy decision. I would pick Gilbert every time! I think when I was younger and going through my smoldering, moody guys are so attractive phase, I may have picked Darcy but no longer!

  79. Paige says:

    A coworker and I just had a conversation Wednesday about Gilbert Blythe being such a wonderful first love. I did’t discover Darcy until I was older. I loved this post!

  80. I love them both but will always be partial to Darcy. Perhaps it is because I have such fond memories of curling up on the couch and watching Pride and Prejudice with my real life love.

  81. Erika says:

    Oh boy, this made me tear up. Love love love. Gilbert will always hold a special place in my heart. Time to reread Anne! (And Pride and Predjudice!)

  82. Jess says:

    I’m an avid admirer of both characters and have been since my early teens. I love Darcy, but there’s no beating Gilbert’s boy next door charm. Loved the comparisons!

  83. Loretta S. says:

    Always, always, always, Gilbert! And now I have to go re-read this whole series. Thanks for planning my weekend for me!

  84. Abby C says:

    As I sit here reading your post I have to smile because I am in the middle of rereading,for what seems about the hundredth time, one of my favorite “Anne” books. Anne of the Island. I still have a huge crush on Gilbert because of his boy next door qualities. In fact, it was due to reading all of LLM’s books as a child that prompted me to take a vacation to PEI and visit all of Anne’s “old haunts”. It remains one of my most favorite vacations.
    Mr Darcy is a close second on my list of fictional crushes. Rounding out the top three would be Shiloh Irons from Gilbert Morris “Cheney Duvall” series.
    Thanks for sharing this brilliant comparison. From one “kindred spirit” to another.

  85. B Clark says:

    Interestingly enough, I think Anne’s romantic ideal is actually very Darcy-like. I, like her, thought I would be enticed by the allure of a dark, mysterious and exotic gentleman, and also like Anne, I married a boy-next-door type. Gilbert for the last word.

  86. Jennifer says:

    Oh, what a wonderful post! I truly do love both Mr. Darcy and Gilbert Blythe. Mr. Darcy makes me swoon, but Gilbert seems so sweet and comfortable and safe. I would have to go with Gilbert, God rest his soul. But…I also really love Colonel Brandon from S & S, and Dr. Harrison from Cranford. My 18-year-old daughter however, is head over heels for Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton. I must agree that the train station scene is quite captivating! But in the end, I am more the Gilbert Blythe kind of girl 🙂

    • Brittany Gulbrandson says:

      All right, yes, if I could have a kiss like that once in my life I will die a happy woman.

      Dear husband, let’s practice. We can make this happen! Haha

  87. Mrs. T says:

    Gilbert, without a doubt. I didn’t read Anne of Green Gables as a child, but in a box of books my parents got from an auction I found Anne of Windy Poplars and fell in love with it. I was an adult before I read the entire series. Read them aloud over and over again to my girls (now moms with families of their own, and they love them too). The comparisons you made were great — and yes, as someone says above, Mr. Darcy is more like Anne’s “romantic ideal”. But Gilbert is real (so to speak).

    We’ve been to PEI a half dozen times. So beautiful.

  88. Monica F says:

    Oh, I loved this! I have to go with Mr. Darcy, because I can’t resist a romance that starts off with a terrible misunderstanding, and because Colin Firth. 🙂

  89. Hillary says:

    A hard question…but your arguments convinced me. Gilbert is the winner. Although, I have to second what people are saying about Teddy and Laurie, too. All big crushes from my childhood.

  90. Jennie K says:

    Both are wonderful, but I’d have to go with Gil, too! I literally just bought AoGG at a library book sale last Thursday. Everything was $1/book or $5 for a full bag. I only had $1 in cash on me at the time, and I wavered between AoGG and an old hardback copy of The Hobbit. I went with LMM! When I returned Saturday for a full bag, as expected, the classics section of the book sale was virtually wiped clean. I was so glad I had grabbed Anne the first day of the sale!

  91. Lettie A. says:

    Although I love all of Jane Austen’s heroes Gilbert Blythe will always be my ultimate literary man. The Anne of Green Gables series is what made me love reading and what inspired me to want to work in publishing, which I am currently studying for in college. When I was younger my older sister loved to read, and since I didn’t want to be compared to my older sister I refused to read. However my mom one day handed me Green Gables and said, “Every girl should read this book. So read it.” I haven’t stopped reading since. Anne, Diana, Marilla, Matthew and Gilbert will always have a special place in my heart and I will always choose Gilbert when it comes to literary heroes.

  92. Teish says:

    Wow! Lots of great characters mentioned in the comments! Between Gil and Darcy… ohhh, that’s tough… but I think I’ll have to also go with Gil!

    Though I really love Mr. Knightly. Kind, practical, and willing to tell Emma what she needs to hear, even if she doesn’t want to hear it!

  93. Melissa Myers says:

    Reading this post made my heart go pitter pat and made me smile! Now I want to go home and re-read both books and watch all the movies!

  94. Allison says:

    Gilbert wins for me! He has always had a special place in my heart, and it’s so fun to see others who feel the same way 🙂

  95. Dana says:

    It has to be Gilbert. His love for Anne was not calculating. It was first love pure and open hearted. Mr. Darcy pales in comparison. I did love Laurie from Little Women also, although he definitely married the wrong March girl IMO.
    The book sounds great!

  96. Becky says:

    Anne of Green Gables is my all time favorite book and I am 65! Read it over and over and over as a young girl. Gilbert wins it for me. Mr Darcy is a close second.

  97. Jessica says:

    Great post! I’m so glad you shared it! I showed the movies to some students near the end of school last year. I can’t WAIT to share this post with them this afternoon!

  98. Pamela Jo says:

    Ah, Gilbert, for sure. I so remember reading these wonderful tomes with my dear daughter. She was always a Darcy fan until she grew older and saw the merits of a Gilbert.
    I know you are always recommending great books…and if your readers haven’t experienced the great Louise Penny authored Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec series, they are missing a treat to savor. In addition to being a great mind, Armand is a totally sensitive, romantic man with his wife. They have kindled their love for many years with romantic moments and weekend getaways and I love reading these parts interspersed with a very intelligent mystery series. Not to mention that he is French Canadian and spends many of his mystery moments In the idyllic village of Three Pines…a place we all could spend days at the local B&B, the used bookstore and luscious bakery. Try them…you just might swoon for Armand as I do!

  99. Karlyne says:

    Well, romantic though Darcy is and full of other virtues, too, I have to plump for Gilbert. He’s the one I’d want to sit by the hearth with…

  100. Julie Richardson says:

    I’d choose Gilbert, hands down! (But Mr. Knightley from Emma comes in a close second…) This book looks fabulous!

    • liz n. says:

      I’ve always liked Jamie, but never swooned over him (I know, everyone else does)…but I’ve always had a bit of a crush on the terse, loyal, Murtagh.

  101. Rachel says:

    Must add this to my list of memoirs to read. I just started reading the Anne of Green Gables series again and it’s been so wonderful and fun.

  102. Danae says:

    I remember the first time I mentioned a former “book crush” to my husband – he was totally flummoxed by the concept! Gilbert was one of my main book crushes while growing up.

  103. Valerie Quinn says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book! I have the whole Anne series on my bookshelf and Gilbert was definitely my first love. Have to say, my boyfriend is a Gilbert for sure!

  104. Gilbert all the way!

    Of course, I am somewhat partial, as I also married my high-school sweetheart after 10 years. I finished Anne of Windy Poplars recently (I’m giving the whole series a re-read!) and the letters they sent back and forth reminded me of when my husband and I would send letters while I was teaching and he was in school. Not a perfect parallel, but pretty close!

  105. Ashley says:

    Love this comparison. I loved Gilbert as a child and Darcy as a college student /English teacher. Both will always have a place in my heart.

  106. pam says:

    I loved the Anne books as a young girl and reread them periodically. I fall in love with Gilbert each and every time. Darcy doesn’t hold a candle to him in my book.

  107. Erika says:

    What a fun comparison! I’d never matched these two crush-worthy gents up before, but there are so many similarities! No wonder I’ve crushed on both over the years.

  108. Sarah says:

    Anne of Green Gables AND Pride and Prejudice? What a perfect blog post to wake up to this morning. Can’t wait to read this book!

  109. Joelle says:

    Gilbert, hands down! He is excused of his first impression on Anne, being that they were children and he was just trying to get her attention in the only immature way he knew how. Now, were this a contest between Gilbert and Laurie of Little Women, I’d be hard pressed to choose!

  110. Elisha G. says:

    I read Anne of Green Gables early on so I loved Gilbert from about the time I was 8. I didn’t read Pride and Prejudice until I was a teenager, so I agree with you. Gilbert wins every time.

  111. Wendy says:

    When I saw the matchup, I was torn, but as I read the arguments, I had to admit that Gilbert is the one. Darcy comes around regarding Elizabeth, and Colin Firth in a wet white shirt is mmmmmm, but he’s still an arrogant, privileged snob when you come down to it. Gilbert is none of those things. Also, unlike Darcy, he doesn’t MEAN to insult Anne right off the bat, it’s just a misguided, middle school attempt at flirting.

    This book sounds super interesting, although as the parent of kids who were orphaned, I am a little uneasy about the “we’re all orphans” thing. Kind of like saying, “We all have our little quirks and obsessions, so we’re all autistic.” Um, no.

  112. Faith R says:

    I have to say that as far as adaptations go I ADORE the Kiera Knightly version of Me Darcy. I forget what his name is now – he is my favorite. Especially in the scenes with his little sister – he is perfect.

    Also – as I was reading your comparison I kept thinking of the men in Little Women. Laurie also proposed prematurely. I can never forgive him for marrying Amy instead of Jo. But also Prof. Bhear is just so so lovely and so perfect for Jo. The scene in the movie (with Susan Sarandon – who is to me in that role the image of the perfect mother) is so sweet.

  113. Tomika says:

    For me it is easily Gilbert, from both the books and film (especially film-so sad about JC). But, I also have always loved Matthew Macfadyen over Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy. And, if we’re talking favorites, I can’t pass up Laurie from Little Women. Both in the book and film. He is disappointing in the end, Amy? Really!? But his relationship with Jo is one of my very favorites!

  114. Alicia Rudd says:

    My first love was Gilbert. I have read Anne of Green Gables every year since I was 12. My girls grew up in it but are grown so I now read it every year with student in my elementary school during our Principal Reading Club.

  115. Heather Reynolds says:

    Between the two, I’d have to choose Darcy. Love him! But movie Gilbert was def my first movie crush! I also have always had a love/admiration for John Brooke in the Little Women books. He’s so steady and patient and caring! My ideal man for a long time!

  116. Edith H Hayden says:

    I disagree Sorry Gill but there is something so romantic about a man who finds he is wrong, corrects his error and redeems himself so entirely that there is nothing wanting. Thank you Mr Darcy. I will go for the FANTASY every time.

  117. Pam H says:

    I read Anne of Green Gables first and watched the tv series, so Gilbert was my first crush. I only developed a crush on Mr. Darcy in college.

  118. Heather says:

    I wish I could read both books for the very first time. I love both of them. Gilbert was my girlhood crush and Darcy I discovered in my teen years.

    • Judy Morrow says:

      Yes, Brigette, I agree! Thanks for reminding me of Joe. I love the Betsy-Tacy series and am blessed to own every book–all old, hardbound library editions but in excellent shape. This post makes me yearn for a reading marathon of all of these wonderful books! 🙂

  119. I am going to a book signing by my friend, Lorilee Craker tonight and am so excited for her! I love the Anne series and this will be such an interesting read! I would marry my “boy next door” all over again! I hope I win a copy!

  120. Rebekah Troche says:

    I’m so glad Gil won!! This was such an entertaining analysis to read, and I was swooning the whole way.

  121. Michelle says:

    My entire family read, as well as watched “Anne of Green Gables” in the 90’s. My husband was so enthralled with the series of books, that the year the kids went off to college, we traveled to Prince Edward Island to feel the authenticity.

  122. JoAnna says:

    Gilbert wins for sure. 🙂 BFF and I once had an all night Anne of Green Gables marathon, watching them all night. I may have to try that with my girls. Would love the book.

  123. Hazel Reynolds says:

    Anne of Green Gables is one of my top 5 most loved books, and I would choose Gilbert. I’ve read the book countless times, watched the series on TV many times, and have visited Green Gables in Prince Edward Island. When I married a man whose father was from PEI and a distant cousin of Lucy Maud Montgomery, I declared that our first born little girl would be named Lucy Maud. Didn’t have a little girl, but eventually got a wonderful 8 week old female yellow lab puppy, and named her Lucy Maud.

  124. raeleneb says:

    Loved this! For me, they each get a vote for different reasons. Mr. Darcy because he’s the man (and life) of fairytales. Gilbert because he’s the man (and life) of quiet evenings by the fire and enduring friendship.

  125. I have to agree that Gil wins. Darcy is the dark and handsome mysterious strnager every girl (including Anne!) thinks she wants. But when it comes to wearing everyday, Gilbert is more faithful, more helpful, and seems to care more for Anne as a person. For one thing he knows her a LOT better than Darcy knows Elizabeth! If I had to choose one for myself it’s Gilbert all the way.

  126. Joan says:

    Loved these books but I have to say Rhett Butler from “Gone With The Wind” is my favorite fictional character.

  127. Carol Spenst says:

    Gilbert has always had my heart- though, of course, Darcy is also amazing. What a fun blog post! Thanks for sharing.

  128. Debbie says:

    Thanks for hoping I win!!! Anne, you are so sweet! By the way, this is a very tough choice for me!!! I love them both equally! I could be happy with either, however, neither come close to my own precious husband, who treats me like a queen and is much better to me than I deserve!

  129. Brittany Gulbrandson says:

    I love Mr. Darcy. I love the way he grows as a person over the course of P&P, I love his sense of honor, I love the steadfastness of his affection for Elizabeth, I love his good sense, I love his devotion to his sister–he is great.

    But the man I married is a Gilbert. He’s less glamorous, but that means that he doesn’t intimidate me either (which Darcy totally would). I didn’t marry a man who needed to learn to be teased, I married a man who could tease me as much as I tease him. I married a man who didn’t lower himself to marry me, I married someone I could work alongside and grow together with. And I prefer that to, well, diamond sunbursts and marble halls. Or even Pemberley.

    Gil’s got the deck stacked against him, though, in that he’s got 8 books (9 if you count The Blythes are Quoted, which… ok, 8 1/2 books) in which we get to see the kind of boy he is and the kind of man he becomes. We know what kind of husband he is and what kind of father he is. With Mr. Darcy, all we have is extrapolation from his courtship. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it does make it easier for me prefer the man I know better, if that makes sense.

    • Liz says:

      This is such a nice comment. Makes my day, along with the post. I have told my husband he’s my Mr. Darcy, and then chided him to recognize the depth of that compliment. But is he really a Gilbert? In many ways, yes. I am CERTAIN that Jonathan Crombie and David Rintoul (1985 BBC Darcy) were the reasons I used to say my “type” was tall, with curly brown hair. My husband is tall, with curly blonde hair, and he’s reserved like Darcy, but is also likely to ride his bike straight into the pond, like Gilbert. 🙂

  130. Jacque says:

    OH, I love this so much! I think I’d have to choose Gil, he is more approachable, and I “knew” him first. 😉 I can’t wait till my daughter is old enough to ‘fall’ for Anne and Gil too.

  131. Kaitlyn says:

    Mr Darcy seemed to think he was above Elizabeth throughout the book even though he said he loved her, so I’d say Gilbert wins this one. Unconventional love for the win:)

  132. KC says:

    I just read the first Anne book a few weeks ago and loved it! Why was I not handed this series as a kid!? I plan to continue the series soon! 🙂

  133. Rose Milligan says:

    There is no competition; Gilbert Blythe would win every time. I love the banter between Gilbert and Anne. You can tell they care about each other even when they are bickering. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  134. Cara says:

    I love Mr. Darcy, but no guy could ever compare to the perfection that is Gilbert Blythe. (sigh) I am jealous of those of you who are discovering him for the first time!

  135. Katherine Salinas says:

    I’d love to win this book! I look forward to reading these books with my daughter when she is old enough.

  136. Megan says:

    Another vote for Gilbert; the Anne books were my favorites when I was a child. Thanks for this fun post!
    I would love a copy of this book! What a great title and a gorgeous cover.

  137. Melissa says:

    I love Gilbert! My husband and I went to PEI on our honeymoon. Thanks for this post…I got chills reading the comparisons between the two. So want to read this book!!

  138. Rachael says:

    I can’t get behind Mr. Darcy. I just can’t. I cannot even handle that guy. (mr Knightley, any day of the week, especially as played by Jonny Lee Miller).

    I would love to read this book. Anne was a kindred spirit growing up, and with a daughter now, with carrot-y hair, I’d love to read this book.

    Thanks for the chance!

  139. Laurie says:

    What a wonderful article! I think I would have to go with Gilbert, in part because he has been in my heart longer than Darcy, but mostly because he was…Gilbert. <3

  140. Liz says:

    My adult self: Darcy. My 13-year-old self: Gil. But I also want to shout out a couple other literary crushes:
    Edmund in The Lion Witch and Wardrobe. I mean, Peter is dreamy, but there’s just something about the naughty-but-reformed Edmund.
    Freddy Honeychurch in a Room with a View. He’s not the main character, but compared to silent, deep, and disturbed George, I found Freddy to be a hoot.
    Calvin in A Wrinkle in Time. Who wouldn’t love the red-headed jock who sees past Meg’s glasses and awkwardness. Not to mention, we get to see what a great dad he becomes in later books.
    This is such a great post. I almost forgot how important my literary crushes were to me when I was young and how much they influenced my later dating choices. I think I even have a diary entry listing my actual crushes and my fictional crushes!

    • M.E. Bond says:

      I always loved Calvin and Meg!

      Remember when Cecil says, “it would be wrong not to loathe Freddy”? And the skinny-dipping scene in the weedy pond? Just compare that to Mr. Darcy’s pond scene. Ha!

  141. Hannah says:

    Thank you so much for writing such a wonderful post! I loved the contrasts of Darcy and Gil, and it’s always fun to find a new post about either one! 🙂 Wonderful work!

  142. Kristen says:

    I prefer Austen Montgomery, but I’d probably have to go with Gilbert aa well. A steadfast heart is too often under rated when compared to dramatic brooding love. Also, Mr. Knightley is my Austen crush.

  143. Sara Beth says:

    Wow, this is such a tough call! Both fictional characters, and yet each have been in my life for a long time. Gilbert while I was young, and Darcy as a young woman. My hubby has a lot to measure up to, and thankfully he has ♡

  144. Danielle says:

    Hmmm, I love Gilbert and Mr. Darcy. I also love John Thornton from “North and South.” But as much as I love those smoldering leading men, I do think Gilbert has my heart the most. Much more nostalgia attached to his character.

  145. Marilyn says:

    I would have to say William from “The Maiden of Mayfair”. He was orphaned and raised by his aunt. He went on to graduate from college. He was such a gentleman and fell in love with Sarah who was born with a deformed hand.

  146. Between Gilbert and Darcy, I would definitely pick Darcy. I was in elementary school when I first read AoGG and was more intrigued by her friendship with Dianna than her relationship with Gilbert. I read P&P in college and the timing was right for a swoon 🙂

    As far as on screen literary characters though, my vote goes to Jack Thornton from When Calls the Heart. I probably did have a crush on him when I read the books (not quite the same as AoGG or P&P, but still books) in high school. The TV show reminded me about him though.

  147. Julie Bestry says:

    Picking a fictional favorite means deciding whether we’re picking for ourselves or for the heroine.

    Gilbert is a feminist hero; aside from a few moments of ill-conceived behavior when he was a child, he was alway strongly, staunchly supportive of Anne and her goals, and he wasn’t doing it from a position of being gentlemanly but because Gilbert is just plain good. He’s heroic for any era. But as a fictional character, I’m not sure it puts enough verve in the story for him to compete with Darcy, who *narratively* is more exciting because the first-time 21st century reader of P&P knows Darcy is the hero, but has to “tune in” to the details to see how he gets from jerky to swoonworthy.

    It’s hard to judge the heroes when the heroines are so different. Sure, Lizzie and Anne are both smart, plucky and well-spoken, but Anne has a level of agency to which Lizzie could never aspire. Anne, by virtue of being an orphan (even if adopted by the Cuthberts) would have had to work, or likely get married AND work, and nobody would be (or was) shocked that she aspired to write, and thus work. She could choose to eschew a husband and even live comfortably enough with little material wealth because she was used to challenges. Lizzie could only have been expected to marry or live a life of eventual poverty or ignominy, and she probably didn’t know how to boil an egg, and so her choices, more constrained by society, mean her adventures will also be constrained.

    To be Lizzie is to crave safety; to be Anne is to crave adventure (but enjoy the comforts of family, nonetheless). Lizzie needs a rich hero; Anne doesn’t. Lizzie needs someone to take care of her; Anne only needs a partner. Each gets the hero she needs, given her era. No 21st century woman needs a Darcy, though his appeal (both monetary and Prince Charmingly) is understandable.

    I’m a huge P&P fan, but although Anne is more flawed than Lizzie, she’s more fun, and it seems that her “reward” for being more fun is to have a less financially-rewarding partnership, and for a modern woman, that should be the point, choosing a good guy and making the money yourself! That said, heroism requires selfless risk. Over and over, Gilbert risks his life and future for Anne, whereas Darcy only risks, at most, a little social discomfort, and will always be able to lord his social superiority over Lizzie. Inequality makes for a poor marital beginning.

    Our romantic, less aspirational selves may want a Darcy, but if we are to be the heroines of our lives, then a Gilbert is a better choice. (Whew.)

  148. Susan Elledge says:

    So fun to read all the comments. My fictional crush would be Joe Willard from the Betsy-Tacy books. It’s been such a long time since I read the Anne books. I’m going to make a point of reading them again.

  149. Crystie says:

    Both characters definitely have their draws, but I can’t imagine choosing Mr. Darcy over steadfast yet mischievous Gilbert! He was my first (and favorite) literary crush!

  150. Beckee Schnurr says:

    I would love to read this book! As a mother of an adopted daughter, stories that touch on adoption are close to my heart.

  151. Alia says:

    I’d have to say Darcy since I haven’t read Anne but this post made me want to find out what all the hype is about!

  152. Sandi says:

    Clearly Mr. Darcy would be my choice! It’s rainy and dreary here, so now I want to cozy up with some version of P&P!

  153. Aime says:

    Oh man, I love them both! How do you choose! But I think I will have to go with Mr. Darcy because he had less opportunity to interact with Elizabeth and still made it happen.

  154. Lynda says:

    What a delightful post! I’m in Ireland so don’t qualify. I’ve been faithful to my Darling Fitzwilliam for nigh on thirty years but I must confess to an enjoyable dalliance with Captain Ross Poldark this summer. He is, how should I phrase this delicately, a stud.

  155. Valerie says:

    Gilbert is the better choice, but I can now only picture Darcy as Colin Firth and he is so very swoon worthy.

  156. Beth says:

    I have to go with Gilbert, too. I loved him first and I think I partly loved Darcy because of their similarities. Here’s an intriguing question, though: Would Gilbert exist without Mr. Darcy?

  157. Melissa says:

    I am definitely Team Gilbert Blythe. Anne Shirley is the literary version of me (except she’s a redhead and I’m a brunette… and she’s Canadian and I’m American) so it seems fitting that I try to find myself a Gilbert Blythe. Also, temperament-wise, Gilbert is more my type.

  158. Eve says:

    This sounds like a great book. Having a daughter who is adopted, I am so thankful for books such as Anne of Green Gables for her to see that love makes a beautiful family, even if not in the traditional way.

  159. Rhonda says:

    Definitely Gilbert! He was so dependable and while he let Anne be herself, he also cared enough about her to be honest with her when she was being too _____ (stubborn, dreamy, etc). I think Almanzo Wilder was probably my first literary crush as a young girl. Now I would have a hard time choosing between them, Legolas, and Jamie Fraser. *swoon*
    This new book sounds really good!

  160. Susan Mattson says:

    I didn’t read the Anne books until I read them to my daughter and we greatly enjoyed them together. Gilbert Blythe is a very admirable hero. However, I would not find Mr. Darcy to be his equal. Another Austen character meets that description, and that would be Emma’s Mr. Knightly.

  161. I had not thought about the parallels between Gilbert and Mr. Darcy, but it’s fun to consider them. I agree that if I personally had to choose between the two, PEI would win out over Pemberley. (Location is a big part of each one’s charm, you have to admit.)

  162. Kate says:

    What a fun comparison. I’m tempted to go back and re-read the books to make my own notes. 🙂 I’d love a chance to read the memoir!

  163. Katherine Myhill says:

    For his boyish good looks, kind heart, and his undying love for Anne…it’s Gilbert for the win for me too.

  164. Mandy says:

    My number one crush will always be Laurie, because I fell for him first. Mr. Darcy is a close second though. I also have quite a thing for Captain Wentworth in the book Persuasion. The letter he writes to Anne proclaiming his never ending love makes my toes curl. Amazingly, I am only now starting to read the Anne of Green Gables series. I’m looking forward to meeting Mr. Blythe!

  165. Andee says:

    Gilbert is without a doubt completely fantastic. But I will also reluctantly admit to a crush on Jacob from Twilight.

  166. Ben says:

    As you point out, there are many reasons to choose either one, but I’ve got to go with Gilbert – the boy(/girl)-next-door, small-town romances where the boy and girl have grown up together and share so many inside jokes, so many of life’s milestone moments, that it’s only right for our couple to share the rest of them as well. Other fictitious couples: Kal (Superman) and Lana Lang, who grew up together in a small Kansas farm town, a childhood that writers even in today’s PC-crazy world admit was instrumental in instilling and affecting his moral character; Everthorne, even Anidala . . .

  167. Lindsey Aylward says:

    For some reason Gilbert just never did it for me. I’d love to win a copy of this book however. Thanks for the giveaway!

  168. Michelle Owings-Christian says:

    Although they are VERY DIFFERENT, and I love Mr. Darcy, I must say it is Gilbert Blythe for the win. The interaction between Gilbert and Anne are much more “down to earth” and relatable to my life than Darcy and Lizzie Bennet.

  169. Laura Gutwein says:

    Hearing Gilbert’s name still makes me blush and gives me butterflies. When I think about Darcy, I hear music and feel like dancing in his arms.


  170. Tammy Weiland says:

    I loved watching Anne with my mother. She visited Green Gables with my father on a trip celebrating their 50th anniversary. I was jealous!

  171. Meredith says:

    Gilbert was my favorite. I read all the Anne books and watched the movies in elementary school. I didn’t discover Mr. Darcy until high school or the BBC miniseries until college. We pulled an all-nighter to watch it 🙂 I was so sad when Jonathan Crombie passed away. His version of “Anne…I’m sorry” (with the distinctive long Canadian “o”) got me every time.

  172. Meg Thomas says:

    Oh, definitely had a Gilbert thing after reading the books, and it only got worse after watching the mini-series. Also had a bit of a literary crush on Laurie from Little Women and always thought, deep down, that Jo was a fool for letting him get away.

  173. Jen says:

    Gilbert and Mr Darcy have always been in my top three but I think my biggest literary crush is Boas from the book of Ruth. The hero who saves the day.

  174. Angela Resendi-Latif says:

    Between these two, I would choose Gilbert. I’ve always been partial to the steadfast love of Persuasion’s Captain Wentworth, though.

  175. Audra says:

    I’m a sucker for British accents but Gilbert wins all the way. Is there anything better than a warm, loving, sacrificing and nobel Canadian doctor? Not that I can think of…Gilbert wins my vote, plus the Anne books are my all time favourite, read them countless times!

  176. Katherine says:

    Wow, to choose between the characters, who doesn’t want that kind of enduring love. Good thing I have my own true love, My Ben wins every time!

  177. Krista A. says:

    I’m in the Gilbert camp.this sounds like a delightful book. The Anne series is one of two that I have planned and am so excited to read with my daughter when she gets old enough. I can’t wait.

  178. Susan says:

    My daughter and I love Anne of Green Gables and dream of visiting Prince Edward Island one day. When my daughter was 11 years old she played the part of Anne in a local production. She went around calling me Marilla for months and months. She didn’t just love Anne; she lived her. Gilbert was definitely a perfect match for our beloved Anne.

  179. Kara says:

    I cast my vote for the boy next door — every time! Let’s face it, the handsome, brooding, mysterious, very wealthy stranger has enormous appeal, but for day-to-day living, give me the dependable goodness, the shared life experience and the steadfast love of the boy next door. I spent much of my wayward youth and early adulthood longing for the adventure and potential “big pay off” of a Mr. Darcy, but have found deep and lasting happiness with my Gilbert — my handsome, funny, incredibly brilliant husband, who, perhaps not coincidentally, is also a medical doctor with a deep, strong desire to do good for his fellow man, to save lives, to help those in his community, and loves me with a love a cannot explain and do not deserve. Gilbert vs. Mr. Darcy? Like Anne, I’d forgo marble halls and diamond sunbursts for a cozy cottage set among trees with a little stream burbling somewhere nearby, as long as my Gilbert was there to share it with me!

  180. susan wolverton says:

    I love both Darcy and Gilbert but since I Reread Pride and Predujice often but not Anne so I guess Darcy wins!

  181. Gail DuFrane says:

    Laurie Laurie Laurie. It breaks my heart every time I reread the book or see any version of the movie (which is often) and Jo turns Laurie down once AGAIN! They would be so happy together. I just know it. And would it be so very wrong if they made a movie with that outcome?

  182. Annie says:

    Wow! Tough call, but I’m a fan of Mr. Darcy all the way! I love this blog! Such a great idea! Thanks for the giveaway too! Look forward to add to my TBR list.

  183. BethM2 says:

    Gilbert for the win for me.

    My grown-up literary crushes are Mr. Thornton from North an South and Atticus Finch. (pardon me while I swoon.)

    Glad to know about this memoir—looks great!

  184. Kathy Smothers says:

    Anna WAS my favorite. I always felt so connected to her, she was me deep inside, the me that was afraid to come out. Even as an adult I watched the weekly series religiously many times over. I’ve never lost the connected feeling I had as a child to her. I would always loose myself in her. There I felt safe and free. I would love to win this!

  185. As dreamy as Darcy is, if I met both him and Gilbert in real life, I’d be inclined to go for Gilbert. He’s just easier to relate to and down to earth. My heart still goes pitter patter when I see images of Jonathan Crombie from back in the day (may he rest in peace). I even married a Jonathan…

  186. Ashley says:

    Between Mr. Darcy and Gilbert, Gilbert is definitely the winner for me. I also had quite the literary crush on Laurie from Little Women. I was devastated when Jo turned him down. But in reading the book again when I was older I can see where she had to do so. And now, though there will always be a flame for Laurie, Professor Bhaer has definitely gained merit in my eyes. I can now see that he is perfect for Jo in ways that Laurie never could be.

  187. Melissa says:

    Love this post. Gilbert was one of my crushes. My daughter and I are actually reading Anne of Green Gables now. So many good memories. I love the series and saved it for my daughter.

  188. Mary says:

    Both Darcy and Gilbert have a special place in my heart. But I love the fact that Edmund (Mansfield Park) and Mr. Knightley (Emma) were best friends with their leading ladies before they fell in love!

  189. Christine says:

    I am voting for Gil. Though not as dashing and romantic, perhaps, he is sweet and true and constant. Probably some of the best qualities of a person and husband.

  190. Sandra Lassiter says:

    Definitely Gilbert. He was always there for Anne, whether or not she always realized it. He didn’t have much, but anything he had was hers, even if it made life harder for him (Avonlea school?!). Gilbert will always win in my eyes–unless he’s up against my husband, then my husband wins! 😉

  191. Julie says:

    Gilbert, for sure. Particularly because of Anne’s amazing wisdom – “I wouldn’t marry a man who was really wicked, but I think I’d like it if he COULD be wicked…and wouldn’t.”

  192. Tai says:

    I LOVE Gilbert Blythe! I read the entire ‘Anne’ series in 8th grade when my 2nd grade teacher gave me her daughter’s old set, and I’ve been hooked ever since. As much as I love Darcy and Ron Weasley, Gil will always win in my book.

  193. Sue says:

    If I really have to choose, I guess it would be Gilbert! I heard Lorilee speak at Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan last night. She was delightful!

  194. Judy Morrow says:

    I’m still smiling after reading this delightful post. I’m with the Gilbert fans, too. Such loyalty and unconditional love! It strikes me that the readers of these timeless books would also love the books of Joanne Bischof. I had the joy of meeting Joanne last spring at a writers’ conference.
    Her novella, This Quiet Sky, is a YA read that transcends ages. You will love Tucker! Then enjoy her Cadence of Grace trilogy, but prepare to lose sleep! I can’t wait to read her recent release, To Get to You.
    Thanks, Lorilee and Anne, for the opportunity to win this book that looks like a wonderful read. I love both the cover and title.

  195. Kristi says:

    oh Gil…..Anne and he will always be my aspiration as a couple. I’m so blessed to have a Gilbert of my own to be married to! My hubby is much like him in character. Though I must say we got off much better in the beginning of our relationship than Gil did with

  196. Kimberly S says:

    What a wonderful post! I absolutely love both of these characters, but Pride and Prejudice is my ultimate favorite and of course, Mr. Darcy. I would have to pick him every time.

  197. Rachelle says:

    Love this blog post! So fun to read the comparisons and the comments! Discovered Anne of Green Gables first so I have to go with Gilbert!

  198. Gina Weeks says:

    Oh, Gilbert. Always Gilbert in my heart. I can’t wait to read this book — hope I can win one.


    P.S. I do need to point out that Darcy is fascinating, especially now as a middle-aged woman. However, how can you not love the sweet Gil???

  199. Becki says:

    First- bought this book – LOVED this book – you nonwinners – BUY THIS book – the author weaves in the tales of Anne/Lucy/Herself/daughter Phoebe in a wonderful way. You will find out new things about Anne/Lucy. So DONT put me in the lottery- I have it.

    GILBERT BLYTHE ALL THE WAY. And my heart is broken over the loss of Jonathan Crombie – truly – no other actor embodied Gilbert the way he did. My secret hope was that they would reunite M and J for their story when they were older . .

    Mr. Darcy is wonderful but I would always feel like I was married to “Mr. Darcy”..Gilbert is more human to me.

  200. Kellee says:

    Gilbert and Anne’s story is always how I wanted to meet a boy: childhood rivals, friends, then sweethearts. I didn’t marry a childhood friend but I did marry a college friend who I never thought I would like. In fact When we first met, he fell asleep on the couch! We were friends for 3 years before anything happened. So Gilbert all the way <3

  201. Meghan says:

    Darcy for the win. Only because I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables! I own the set though (well, 3 books…not sure if there are more than that) and this article has convinced me to start reading them tonight!

  202. Jessica says:

    I am almost ashamed to say that I have never read Anne of Green Gables! But, my eldest daughter has. You have almost convinced me to give it a go. When I was quite young my Grandma would try to get me to watch it on pbs. I think I must have been too young because it turned me off. For me the most swoon worthy leading man is Captain Wentworth from Persuasion. Although with my perchance for sea sickness I wouldn’t be joining him on board his ship!

  203. Melanie says:

    There has never been anyone that could hold a candle to Gilbert in my mind. Probably the closest second is Peter from the Narnia Books, although he “ages out” and is gone before you can grow from a childhood crush.

  204. Jennifer says:

    Gilbert will always hold my heart. And the continuing series allows us to witness what a good guy Gilbert is throughout his life.

  205. Erica says:

    I really don’t know if I can pick. But thank you, Anne, this post really cheered me up! Both of these books/movies are favorites for me and my daughters and reminds me of the many discussions we have that are quite similar to this blog post. (Though we prefer Mr. Macfadyen over Mr. Firth…) Blessings to you!

  206. Missy says:

    I have started to build a collection of my books for my 2-year-old daughter, and Anne of Green Gables was one of my first purchases. Darcy will also be my favorite romantic hero, but Gilbert certainly makes the Anne series the classic it is and will always have a special place in my heart.

  207. Sandra Miller says:

    Oh, goodness! So many choices! I recently read Undetected by Dee Henderson and I loved her male lead, Jake Bishop! He was perfectly dreamy!

  208. Criss Butler says:

    I admit to having a lit crush on both Fitzwilliam Darcy and Gilbert Blythe. Probably Gil more so than Darcy as English estates are far beyond my realm of experience. As the mother to four daughters, I read to them from “the Anne books” frequently, fully encouraging a literary crush or two. Our Thanksgiving ritual is to watch the Sullivan production through to the end. Much easier to accomplish when we all lived under the same roof and their father worked nights. We would stay up late binge watching until the final credits. Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert a perfect manifestation of our imaginary boy next door. To label Anne of Green Gables as a love story is indeed accurate, but in the first book it is not the love story of Anne and Gil that keeps the reader turning the pages. It is instead the blossoming love between Anne and the Cuthberts. Marilla and Matthew; two unlikely objects of affection, who love Anne into the adult that we all admire and cherish.
    As a girl I read through all of Louisa Alcott’s Little Women and Little Men books. For a time both Teddy and Professor Bhaer dueled for my heart. In the end, I like Jo, chose the Professor. His kind heart, philosophical bent and wide embrace for family life suited Jo as well as myself. The 1994 film version with Gabriel Byrne as the Professor is perfection. Although now I identify more with Susan Sarandon’s Marmee than any of the March girls.
    Ultimately, all fictional crushes for me begin and end with Ivanhoe. He is a worthy, hunky hero. A Saxon knight who returns from fighting abroad to find the kingdom in turmoil and all he holds dear in peril. He survives mortal wounds, an attraction to another, and scoundrels of all varieties all while keeping true to the fair Rowena. I know I said earlier that English estates kept me from committing fully to Darcy. Here I am contradicting myself when I profess my love and admiration for a 5th century Saxon knight. Sorry Darcy, but up against Ivanhoe you are milquetoast.

  209. Sophie says:

    Very interesting, the problem with the comparison is that Darcy is a man and Gilbert is still very much an immature boy. Thank you for the giveaway!

  210. Jesabes says:

    It’s ridiculous in a way, since they’re often an integral part of the story, but I always felt like the guys were superfluous. I read all of the Anne books several times and have almost no impression of Gilbert. I think I just raced through anything concerning him trying to get back to her!

  211. Lynne says:

    You all will probably laugh at this, but I had a literary crush on Luke Skywalker. I say literary because I read the trilogy of books by Timothy Zahn that are set about 5 years after _The Empire Strikes Back_. Actually, I pretty much wanted to _be_ Mara Jade, and she has a complicated relationship with Luke, including several moments that gave me butterflies. Another literary crush: Nate from The Witch of Blackbird Pond. So how are those two for obscure?
    But as far as the comparison in this post, I have to say Gilbert because I haven’t read (or seen) P&P!

  212. Lori says:

    While I finally came to love Darcy by the end of Pride and Prejudice, I loved Gil from his first appearance in Anne. The North Star couldn’t be more true than Gilbert Blythe.

    And for those who were debating Harry Potter crushes, I humbly submit Remus Lupin. I adored him in the books (and he was a bit more age appropriate for me when I read the books). I was delighted that he found love with wonder Tonks….and I think I’ll just end with that.

  213. Meg says:

    This was great! And I have to agree, Gilbert edges out Darcy. Gil was such a constant friend for so many years. It makes their story all the sweeter!

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