Introduction to the Importance of Book Covers
In the 1960's, 70's, and 80's, when Anne was marketed for children rather
than for the general--possibly adult--audience Page had in mind in 1908,
Anne was a waif, or a confident adolescent, or a nervous girl-woman. In
The Lucy Maud Montgomery Album, Jack Hutton and Linda Jackson-Hutton
tell us that the super-slender waif Anne of the mid-1960's McGraw-Hill
Ryerson cover was modeled on the famously thin British model known as
"Twiggy" (p. 204).
In Japan, Anne has appeared as a spunky child and as
a dreamy cartoon character. In Sweden and Finland she has been an appealing
child and in Norway, a grown woman. A marvelously colorful cover from
Korea shows Anne somewhere between the child and the woman.
Clearly publishers have changed the covers of Anne
through the years and across cultures depending on whether they thought
popular taste demanded a child or a woman, an Anne of contemporary times
or an authentically Victorian Anne, and whether current taste demanded
a dreamy Anne or an Anne of intense emotions.
While you look at the selected covers and jackets from the
Ronald I. Cohen collection, consider what the images suggest to you about
the context in which they were created and the stories they were meant
For overview of the Anne of Green Gables book
covers, see The Lucy Maud Montgomery Album (Fitzhenry and Whiteside,