Is the Anne of Green Gables Series Public Domain?

Anne of Green Gables is a popular children’s book series authored by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The first book was published in 1908, and the final in 1936. So does that mean the Anne of Green Gables series is currently in the public domain?

The Anne of Green Gables series is partly in the public domain. There are eight books in the series, of which six are in the public domain, and two are not. However, there are several online bookstores and websites where you can read these stories for free.

The timelessness of the stories has meant that many people want to find ways to read them for free. In this article, I’ll highlight those books in the Anne of Green Gables series that are in the public domain and where you can read them for free.

Current Copyright Status of the Anne of Green Gables Series

According to US copyright laws, any intellectual property – including books, movies, music, etc.- is protected for 100 years, after which it enters the public domain.

So in 2023, all books published before 1923 are in the public domain. This means anyone can distribute the books and even list them for free as eBooks if they please.

The first six books in the Anne of Green Gables series are freely available because they were published before 1923 (the latest in 1921) and are all in the public domain.

The seventh book – Anne of Windy Poplars, was published in August 1936. This means it’ll be in the public domain and freely available from 1st Jan 2037.

Likewise, the final book – Anne of Ingleside – published in July 1939, will become public domain and freely available from 1st Jan 2040.

What Anne of Green Gables Books Can You Read for Free?

As I’ve already mentioned, there are eight books in the Anne of Green Gables series. Here’s a quick overview of each book title, along with their dates of publication:

  • Anne of Green Gables (Published in April 1908)
  • Anne of Avonlea (Published in August 1909)
  • Anne of the Island (Published in July 1915)
  • Anne’s House of Dreams (Published in August 1917)
  • Rainbow Valley (Published in August 1919)
  • Rilla of Ingleside (Published in 1921)
  • Anne of Windy Poplars (Published in August 1936)
  • Anne of Ingleside (Published in July 1939)

To reiterate: the first six of these books are currently in the public domain, whereas the last two are still protected under US copyright laws.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can pick up a physical copy of the first six books for free. The person printing the books still needs to spend money on the paper, book cover, illustrations, distribution, etc.

Therefore, public domain books will still cost money to buy, although there are many other ways to read them for free.

For example, if you’re okay reading ebooks, many websites, such as Project Gutenberg and online eBook stores, offer free copies of the Anne of Green Gable ebooks. You can probably also pick up a copy at your local library.

Let’s check out each of these options in more detail:

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a digital library of over 60,000 free eBooks, primarily those in the public domain.

You don’t need to enter your email ID, provide any registration fees, or even use a special app. Just go to their website, search for the book you want to read, and if it’s in their library, you can download it for free.

Project Gutenberg hosts the first six books in the Anne of Green Gables series as they are currently in the public domain. You can access each of these books using the provided links:

Because the final two books – Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne of Ingleside, are still protected by US copyright, they are not available here.

Now let’s see if the other two methods below help you find the final two books of the Anne Gables series for free.

Local Libraries

Your local libraries are always your best friend if you want to find books and read them for free.

Anne of Green Gables is a renowned book series, and your local libraries are bound to have a copy. In fact, you’ll likely find all eight books of the series in your nearby local library.

Even if they don’t have a physical copy of the book, they might be able to provide you access to an eBook through their digital lending services.

You can also check with your school library to see if they have a copy of any of the books available.

However, if you are still looking for a copy of L.M Montgomery’s masterpiece after checking libraries near you, there’s no need to lose hope. You still have one more place left to check.

Online eBook Stores

There are a number of online stores that sell or provide ebooks. Some of the most famous ones include:

Again, you’ll be able to find all the public domain Anne of Green Gable books here for free. However, the last two books still under copyright protection are either unavailable or will cost money.

For instance, on Amazon Kindle, public domain books are available for free or provided through Kindle Unlimited (making it accessible if you have a subscription). However, you will need to pay for the last two books.

This is because the two books aren’t currently available with Kindle Unlimited. Fortunately, when they become available in the public domain, they’ll likely also appear for free in these places. So keep an eye out for that.

Avoid Potential Scammy Websites

You should stay clear of fraudulent websites when searching for eBooks in online stores.

Many sites illegally acquire and give away eBooks for free. Getting your eBook copy from them can lead to potential legal trouble. But worst of all, these eBooks might be laced with harmful malware and viruses, which can cause trouble on the device you download.

Therefore, only stick to reputable online stores when buying or downloading digital products.


The Anne of Green Gables series was written over three decades and includes eight books.

The first six books of this series are currently in the public domain. Their eBook copies are also available for free from multiple online sources and local libraries.

However, the last two books in the series are still under copyright protection. As such, it’s hard to find free copies of these books, even in eBook format.

The entire series will go into the public domain from 1st Jan 2040.


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