I read this passage one week after attending a June funeral in Massachusetts. The dearly departed in the Bay State was in her late 70’s, Ruby Gillis in “Anne of the Island” was approx. 19 years old. What a striking passage from a piece of “children’s literature:”
Mrs. Rachel Lynde said emphatically after the funeral that Ruby Gillis was the handsomest corpse she ever laid eyes on. Her loveliness, as she lay, white-clad, among the delicate flowers that Anne had placed about her, was remembered and talked of for years in Avonlea. Ruby had always been beautiful; but her beauty had been of the earth, earthy; it had had a certain insolent quality in it, as if it flaunted through it, intellect had never refined it. But death had touched it and consecrated it, bringing out delicate modelings and purity of outline never seen before – doing what life and love and great sorrow and deep womanhood joys mights have done for Ruby. Anne, looking down through a mist of tears, at her old playfellow, thought she saw the face of God had meant Ruby to have, and remembered it so always.