A blonde, busty Anne of Green Gables

First aired on As it Happens (05/02/13) 

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anne-green-gables-smaller-210.jpgThe red-headed, freckled, stick thin loveable Anne Shirley dreamed up by Lucy Maud Montgomery -- first for Anne of Green Gables and then a number of sequels -- has turned into a busty, blonde haired beauty. A new cover of the trilogy boxed set shows Anne's makeover from homely orphan to beauty queen.

"There isn't one element of that picture -- from the arm position, to the hair, to the face, to the shirt, to the body -- that says Anne of Green Gables in any way," Beth Cavert of the Lucy Maud Montgomery Literary Society told CBC's As it Happens.

Cavert feels the publisher did not put too much thought into the cover image and believes, most likely, there were no free images of red-haired girls in the company's image catalogue. She believes the busty blonde won't attract readers and says the comments on the book's Amazon page prove the book won't sell. "Everyone is saying this is a great book, but you don't want this cover," she said.

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On the American site, the three highest rated comments call out the publisher on their cover choice. All three readers say they love the books, but call the blonde choice "terrible," "disappointing" and even "offensive."

One points out their frustration with the cover girl's sexy pose: "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?"

Cavert believes Montgomery would also be upset over the inaccurate portrayal. Montgomery was very particular about the art work used for her books, she said. For a first edition of Emily of New Moon an illustrator drew the wrong type of moon, said Cavers, and Montgomery was very upset because she wanted the art to reflect her work.

Montgomery once fought a long legal battle with a publisher who published one of her books without permissions, she said, and days of testimony were dedicated to whether the company's visual portrayal of Anne reflected Montgomery's work.

"I think [Montgomery] would probably, if she had an iPhone, would have pitched it out the door if she saw this image on it," said Cavert. "I think she would not even be able to comprehend this cover."



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