Chapter 26 Summary
When Anne turns thirteen, she thinks everything in the world seems different. Being a teenager makes life seem more interesting. Anne is also glad that people will not laugh at her when she uses big words, now that she is a teen.
In school, Miss Stacy has assigned the children to write a story of fiction. Diana is concerned about the assignment. She claims she does not have the imagination to make up a story. Anne has already completed her story. The main character is a woman with purple eyes. Anne tells Diana that she read the story to Marilla, who found it full of nonsense. However, after Matthew heard the story, he told Anne that he liked it. Anne says she likes Matthew as a critic far more than she likes Marilla as one.
To ease Diana’s fears of writing and to help broaden her friend’s imagination, Anne suggests that she and Diana and several other girls from school form a story club. No boys are allowed, and each member has to write one story each week. They can practice their writing and critique each other’s stories. Later Anne tells Marilla about the story club, which Marilla easily dismisses as being frivolous. Anne says the club is very interesting. Each girl reads her story out loud; afterward, they discuss it. They will each preserve their stories in a file so that when they are older and married, they can read them to their children. Before the girls begin to write, each chooses a nom de plume—Anne’s is Rosamond Montmorency.
Ruby Gillis is “rather sentimental,” Anne reports to Marilla, and she puts too much “lovemaking” into her stories. Jane, on the other hand, never writes about lovemaking because it embarrasses her too much to read it out loud. As a consequence, Jane’s stories are very sensible. Diana writes tales of murder. She often does not know what to do with her characters, so she kills them to be rid of them. When the girls run out of story ideas, Anne is always available to supply them with fresh ones.
Marilla thinks writing stories is foolish. Reading stories is bad, Marilla states, and writing them is even a bigger waste of time. To defend her time spent writing, Anne explains that every one of her stories has a moral. Every character who is good is rewarded, while all bad ones are punished. Anne believes this provides a wholesome impression. Anne is sure Mr. Allan, the preacher, would approve. As a matter of fact, Anne read one of her stories to Mr. Allan. He laughed in all the wrong places, but other than that he appeared to like it.