19 February 2013

Much Ado About Anne

A friend asks why I've not weighed in on the Anne of Green Gables cover controversy. To be frank, I feel I've said all I have to say about wretched print on demand product – but more than this is the simple fact that the controversy is a media creation. I won't play along.

Let's be clear, hardly anyone noticed Blonde Anne until Greg Quill brought it to readers' attention in the Toronto Star. What he presented wasn't news but an invitation:
Remember when Anne of Green Gables leaned back on the barnyard fence, ran a hand through her shimmering blond hair and tossed off a sexy pout? You don’t? 
Then join dozens of other outraged readers of the 1908 Canadian classic who have let Amazon.com know that the most recent edition of L.M. Montgomery’s coming-of-age text got it all wrong in the cover art department.
A few hundred answered the call, littering Amazon's site with "customer reviews" that were just as silly and ill-informed as the cover being criticized.

The offending volume has since been removed from sale, the image has been scrubbed from Amazon's site, yet the outrage continues.

There have been other ridiculous print on demand Montgomerys – Rila of Ingelside [sic] is a favourite – but this depiction of our dear Anne seems to have offended so very personally. Where, one wonders, was the outrage over Toddler Anne...

Tough Anne...

Witness Protection Program Anne Edith...

or Goth Anne?

Of course, what really troubles those who've taken offence isn't the depiction of Anne as blonde or buxom, but as a sexual being. Best not acknowledge that the girl introduced in the opening pages of Anne of Green Gables is a college graduate by novel's end. In Anne of the Island, third in the offending three-novel set, Anne becomes engaged to Gilbert Blythe. They'll go on to marry and have seven children together.

Yep, Anne and Gilbert did it seven times.

At least.

Which isn't to say that I don't think the cover sucks.


  1. This was hysterical! Thanks for the morning laughs.

  2. Rachel points out that it was eight times, since one baby died in childbirth.

    1. I'd like to say that I'd forgotten, but that would be a lie. I've never made it past Anne of Avonlea. Still, that's better than most Canadian males, isn't it?

  3. Perhaps that cover was for the companion book to a film version directed by Roman Polanski?

    1. That or the beginning of a new franchise: Lolita Goes to Canada.