Anne, first published in 1880 by author Constance Fenimore Woolson, is a work of American literary regionalism. It depicts the emotional and spiritual conflicts faced by its eponymous heroine as she leaves her home village, Mackinac Island, to seek a future as a young woman in the Northeastern United States. Her good qualities win her many suitors, but she finds hypocrisy and dysfunctional social relationships among the wealthier strata of U.S. Victorian society. Eventually she selects a suitor who, although of wealthy origins, has lost his means and is ready to accept the stolid virtues of the American working class. Anne Douglas returns with her new partner to her place of origin.
Anne was first published through serialization in Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Upon republication as a book in 1882, the work became a bestseller and was reviewed in The Nation, The Century, and other leading periodicals of the day. Many readers and reviewers appreciated the book, as it depicted a wide variety of settings and social circumstances, with a particular eye for the picturesque elements to be seen on the shores of northern Lake Huron inhabited by persons who had come to live in harmony with the ecology of the Great Lakes. Woolson's sentimental depiction of a rural setting was attractive to a readership increasingly tied to smoky, industrial cities.
Anne was republished as a volume in 1882 by Harper and Brothers. Sales of the novel faded with changing literary tastes; Woolson admirer Anne Boyd Rieux confessed in 2014 that "self-sacrificing heroines like Margaret in East Angels and Anne in Anne seem almost impossibly good to our eyes today." The work's copyright has expired and it is in the public domain in its country of publication, the United States. Anne's Tablet, erected on Mackinac Island in 1916, is a tribute to author Woolson and to Anne.