Monica Hesse of The Washington Post said it better than I ever could, yet I’m still compelled to sound off.
The Internet is all a-buzz because CreateSpace (some time ago, apparently) released an edition of L.M. Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables. The cover art would lead one to believe… what, exactly? That this is a 21st century young adult novel about a Taylor-Swift wannabe?
First and foremost, there’s the blonde factor. Okay, I could understand if someone misrepresented Jane Stuart on a cover. She’s not well-known. Her looks don’t really matter all that much. (Bonus points to all of you who’ve actually read Jane of Lantern Hill. A heroine who dreams of polishing the moon? Yawn. Yet still, as a dutiful Montgomery fan, part of my collection.)
But Anne Shirley? Anne is an icon! She’s on a freaking license plate. And her red hair plays a significant role in the plot of Green Gables. If you were a literate individual who’d ever encountered this text (say, for instance, me at age seven) or even a movie version of said text, then you would know that she has red hair.
Not cool, CreateSpace. Not cool.
And another thing. The Anne books are set in the late Victorian era on Prince Edward Island. That’s part of their charm. I spent much of my childhood wishing I could go back in time and live in Anne’s world. I considered “Gibson Girl” hair an integral part of playing dress-up. And I loved the slow, sweet way that Anne’s relationship with Gilbert progressed. The books just felt like a window into another world.
This cover photo looks like something a teenager trying to be “hot but not slutty” would post on her Facebook account. (Again, yawn.)
Give me the classic Anne any day.
Come on, fellow Anne fans. Share your thoughts.