Mrs. Rachel Lynde

Did you know that the first sentence of the first chapter of Anne of Green Gables, a paragraph long, contains 148 words? It just goes on and on and on. There are 831 characters, punctuation marks and spaces in all. And 46 of these are the letter d.

Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies’ eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde’s Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde’s door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.

I know this because I’ve decided to use this sentence as a way of taking my Bodoni out for a ride.

It turns out that my Bodoni wasn’t exactly lovingly handled in its previous home: I’m batting about 50% pulling letters out of where they are supposed to be. There are u’s where there are supposed to be n’s, and almost everything but d’s where the d’s are supposed to be. But I’m making my way. Slowly. Here’s a rough proof of where I finished off tonight:

Mrs Rachel Lynde

It’s taking me about 10 minutes a line right now, in part because I’m just learning my way around the California job case layout.

There are 102,232 words in Anne of Green Gables in all; at my rate of about 1 word a minute, it would take me about 150 days to set the entire book (working 12 hour days).

Longtime readers may recall the Anne of Green Gables Wordle I made a few years ago; this is a good map for where my hands would be heading were I to proceed; I would need many, many capital letter A’s.

Anne of Green Wordle