Monday, December 7, 2015

Controversial Anne of Green Gables Book Cover Review

What Did You Think of The Controversial Anne of Green Gables Book Cover?

Controversial Anne of Green Gables Book Cover Review

In 2012 a company self-published a three-in-one Anne of Green Gables boxed book set and radically changed the image on the cover from that of the red headed, freckly 10-year old girl we have come to know and love as Anne Shirley to well, an older blue-eyed blonde, whose pose has been called sexy, sultry, a travesty. You can see the image from that cover here.

Check out the controversial Anne of Green Gables book cover. What were they thinking?

Have a look at the cover artwork that appeared on those books and let us know what you think. Was it appropriate that Anne Shirley was modernized in this way or should the publishers have stayed with a more typical, period-appropriate version of Anne. Does it even matter? What do you think?

Why Were They Allowed To Use Provocative Pictures On The Cover of Anne of Green Gables?

The first question that entered my mind when I heard of these new covers was how was the publisher able to get away with making Anne of Green Gables so provocative? I guessed that the book must have fallen into the public domain and, according to online sources that is, indeed the case. Public domain, by the way, means that the owner's copyright has expired and the work is free for others to use as they wish.

Fans Upset About New Anne of Green Gables Covers

The controversial Anne of Green Gables book cover customer review stats.

Life long fans of Anne of Green Gables were naturally extremely upset about Anne's new look. Reviewers were clearly horrified by the cover as is reflected in the numbers recorded in this screenshot on February 13, 2013 that shows 392 one-star reviews. I believe those reviewers were really rating the cover and not the stories, which most Anne fans love. It is noteworthy that the controversial cover was pulled not long after it was released in response to the uproar.

More Reading About the Controversial Anne of Green Gables Book Cover

Book Lovers Outraged Over Sexy Anne of Green Gables Cover
ABC News Anger Over Sexy version of beloved children's character.

Anne of Green Gables Goes Blonde
The Guardian: New edition of the freckled heroine has bedroom eyes...

Anne of Green Gables Gets Racy Update
The classic 1908 book gets a new cover with an older and sexier Anne on display.

Anne of Green Gables Books complete, unabridged set.

The Anne of Green Gables Three-in-One Boxed Set

The Anne of Green Gables three-in-one boxed set includes three of Lucy Maud Montgomery's books: Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island and was published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Shown here is the cover that was issued to replace the controversial one.

What Do You Think of the Controversial Cover?

If you have been wanting to have your say about the controversial Anne of Green Gables book cover, here's your chance. Let us all know what you think by leaving a comment in the comments box.

See you
in the book aisle!

More Anne of Green Gables Reading:

Before Green Gables Book Review
Before Green Gables is the highly publicized, much anticipated, authorized prequel to the book, Anne of Green Gables written by Budge Wilson, published in 2008 and read by me right away, that summer.

Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning 
In the book Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning, the war in Europe is winding down and Anne Shirley was a middle-aged writer returning to the island for a visit.

Anne of Green Gables on Pinterest

Author's Note: Previously published elsewhere in 2012.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I remember my reaction to this new book cover quite well when you first brought it to my attention. I find it appalling. While the blonde is pretty, she does not accurately depict the character of Anne Shirley, either in looks, personality or moral appearance. Anne of Green Gables is one of my all time favorite book series and I very much resent publishers, regardless of their owner rights, using sexuality to sell these books. Anne Shirley was far from being provocative. Why does the world feel they have to trash everything that is good?

  2. I much prefer the old-fashioned book cover. This one seems very deceptive and I don't understand why a publisher would choose such a provocative (a good word for it) picture to promote the character or the setting of the book. I hope they've changed it by now!

  3. I much prefer the old-fashioned book cover. This one seems very deceptive and I don't understand why a publisher would choose such a provocative (a good word for it) picture to promote the character or the setting of the book. I hope they've changed it by now!

  4. I'm glad that they changed it to an image that is more period appropriate. I wonder if the unpopular cover that they tried was an attempt to try to get younger readers of today to be enticed to read these classic stories. Perhaps they weren't giving today's young readers a fair assessment as to their taste in what a character might look like. The publisher obviously doesn't have their fingers on the pulse if that was the case. All they have to do is look at the popular teen/tween books of this generation to know that they like period and fantasy stories, they don't feel the need to view a classic character in a modern version.

  5. hmm, perhaps they were looking for negative press on purpose (It's hard for me to think that way), but it's being shared and debated and it's sure aggravating when that works. Not sure if that was their intention, but it seems plausible. I prefer the old cover for sure.

  6. I'm very glad the publishers changed the cover to something more appropriate to the stories. I agree with all of you - some things don't need 'updating' or 'modernizing' or changed at all.

  7. I don't like it at all because it violates the spirit of the books. That's just not the Anne I know and love.


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