I grew up reading the Anne of Green Gables series over and over again. My love for the delightful red-head knows no bounds. Well, except for when she’s portrayed as Pamela Anderson in a flannel.
Anne Shirley, the title character of the 1908 Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery received a makeover that isn’t sitting well with just about anyone. Except for 13-year-old boys, maybe. Yes, our beloved Anne is now a sexy, blonde bombshell sporting come hither eyes whilst running fingers through her bleached locks.
The makeover comes courtesy of CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, a self-publishing company whose books are sold on Amazon. Slapping new covers on old classics is nothing new, but COME ON. Sex siren or no, at least give her RED HAIR. Not only is the cover just plain wrong but it ruins the naive charm that is as much a part of Anne Shirley as her fiery hair and freckles.
According to theobserver.com, I’m not the only one upset by the cover. Apparently the new edition has so far received 500 mostly angry comments and has an average rating of one star. Here’s an example of what people are saying.
“As someone who grew up on these books and other books by Lucy Maude Montgomery, this makes me want to vomit. I don’t even see this as merely a mistake regarding Anne’s hair color but the overt sexualization of this literary character. She was actually a young girl in the first books and at no point in the series does she ever revert to pole-dancing in flannel to save the family farm.”
“This is nuts, offensive even. That cover image has to be a joke. Anne is a redhead and everyone knows that (or so I thought). It is a very important part of the story and having once been a little redheaded girl myself it is very important to me. I love these three books to death, but I will never buy copies of this edition for anyone. For shame!”
“The “Updated” cover of this product is terrible. First of all, Anne has red hair. RED HAIR. It’s a key part of her character and is a strong influence on her words and actions. Secondly, Anne is 10 at the start of the series. What is up with the bedroom eyes? Did they just do a Google image search for Sexy Farmgirl? Does anyone publishing this book have any idea of what the stories are actually about?”
It’s interesting to note that today the image is no longer on Amazon where the book is being sold! Perhaps that means the company has responded to the outcry?
So bothered was I by the cover and how it might mislead all the young girls who pick up this copy of Anne of Green Gables that I pulled out my tattered copy to reread the description of Anne in the book:
“But just now I feel pretty nearly perfectly happy. I can’t feel exactly perfectly happy because–well, what color would you call this?”
She twitched one of her long glossy braids over her thin shoulder and held it up before Matthew’s eyes. Matthew was not used to deciding on the tints of ladies’ tresses, but in this case there couldn’t be much doubt.
“It’s red, ain’t it?” he said.
The girl let the braid drop back with a sigh that seemed to come from her very toes and to exhale forth all the sorrows of the ages.
“Yes, it’s red,” she said resignedly. “Now you see why I can’t be perfectly happy. Nobody could who has red hair. I don’t mind the other things so much–the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness. I can imagine them away. I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose-leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I CANNOT imagine that red hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, `Now my hair is a glorious black, black as the raven’s wing.’ But all the time I KNOW it is just plain red and it breaks my heart. It will be my lifelong sorrow. I read of a girl once in a novel who had a lifelong sorrow but it wasn’t red hair. Her hair was pure gold rippling back from her alabaster brow. What is an alabaster brow? I never could find out. Can you tell me?”
There can’t be much doubt. It’s red, ain’t it? And it’s her lifelong sorrow. And now, very much like Anne, I am in the depths of despair for CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform is not, I repeat NOT a kindred spirit.
I DEMAND MEGAN FOLLOWS!
There. That’s better.
You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.
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