It's all over Twitter, and not in a good way. A new edition of the first three books in L.M. Montgomery's beloved "Anne of Green Gables" series is available on Amazon, and Anne--that skinny red-headed orphan with the luminous gray eyes--is portrayed as a voluptuous blonde, leaning suggestively against a bale of hay.
It does make me wonder who they're trying to attract. Certainly not readers.
Anne's red hair was a pretty important part of who she was, especially in the first book. (Remember how much she hated it? Remember when she accidentally dyed it green?)
This new edition is big news in Canada (Anne hailed from Prince Edward Island, which is where the author was born).
The Charlottetown, PEI, Guardian interviewed Minnetonka resident Beth Cavert, who belongs to the L.M. Montgomery Literary Society. She said that fans are steamed and Montgomery's granddaughter is disgusted. "She's hiding out. She thinks it's terrible," Cavert is quoted as saying.
"Anne of Green Gables goes blond on new U.S. cover," says the Hamilton Spectator headline.
"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?" writes reporter Greg Quill. "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."
The number seems to be much higher than "dozens." The Toronto Globe and Mail quotes readers calling it a travesty and claiming to be outraged.
I"m pretty outraged myself. I love Anne, and her big eyes and her dreamy personality and her love of nature and writing. I love the way she found "scope for imagination" in just about anything, her talkiness and her skinniness and the time she accidentally dyed her hair green because she hated so much being a redhead. (She had hoped for luminous raven tresses. She got green.)
A green-haired Anne on the cover wouldn't have made the readers blink. But a sultry blonde? Travesty, indeed.
So who is behind this decision? The book appears to be a self-published, print-on-demand edition through Amazon's self-publishing arm.
As one person said on Twitter: "Montgomery is turning in her grave. And hopefully returning as a zombie to avenge redheads everywhere."
Oh, man Anne of Green Gables and zombies! Another truly bad idea.