Monday, September 6, 2010

Find Your Anne of Green Gables

On this last day of summer vacation, I was thinking that a fun trip would be to visit Prince Edward Island and find Anne of Green Gables. It has been over 100 years since L.M. Montgomery wrote this character into existence and many book covers have tried to capture the spirit of Anne.
Which one is your Anne?

Is she an older, mature Anne?

This 100th edition published by Putnam Adult (2008) dons the same cover as the first edition by L.C. Page & Company (1908). An interesting essay by Christy Woster (2007) looks into the mystery of whether the original cover was illustrated by M.A. and W.A.J. Claus or George Gibbs.

Does she have braids or does your Anne let her hair down?

(1) Cover illustrated by Philip Simmonds and published by G.G. Harrap (1925).
(2) Modern Library Classics (2008)

Is your Anne pensive?

Some have suggested the McGraw Hill-Ryerson Press (1964) cover was inspired by the 60's model Twiggy.
Lauren Child's interpretation makes me think of a teenage Clarice Bean (published by Puffin Classics, 2008)

Or is she "full of spirit and vivacity"?

Adapted by Deirdre Kessler, Illustrated by David Preston Smith (Nimbus Publishing 2008)
Alladin Paperbacks (2001)

Or maybe your image of Anne isn't fixed and you prefer covers that let you use your imagination, as Anne and other "kindred spirits" would do.

(New Canadian Library, 2008; and 1st World Library, 2005).
Broadview Press (2004), edited by Cecily Devereaux

These examples show the challenge of inventing a new cover for such a classic story and character. Here are some great sites that show many other faces of Anne:
Library and Archives Canada (

Or visit her on Prince Edward Island next summer.


  1. Hey Deirdre, great post! My favorite (of the ones you've posted) is the black and white of Anne chasing the chicken! Lively and fun!

  2. Great topic! My Anne isn't featured here as I had the Bantam movie tie-in cover. It features the actress (Megan Follows) on the cover sitting at the train station waiting for Matthew to pick her up. Of course I have a deep nostalgic attachment to it. But I also really like some of the covers above. The one that first grabs me aesthetically is the Modern Library (2008), but I never picture Anne's hair as quite that dark (likely because of the film!)

  3. Hi Steph. Chasing chickens certainly conveys the chaos Anne could get into sometimes. I'm still not sold on photographs because it feels like there is less wiggle room to have my own image of the character. What do you think?

  4. Thanks Chandra,
    I have to admit that Megan Follows is my image of Anne too. And when I see her acting in other roles I have to remind myself that she isn't acting like Anne because she's NOT Anne. But she did fit the part quiet well.

  5. I had the 1964 version (my sister's actually.) She had the whole set in that design. When I think of Anne, that's what I see. :)

  6. I love these posts that compare covers over time! Nice work.