The Many Faces of Anne of Green Gables



Lindsey at Reeder Reads is hosting a Green Gables Readalong, in which we will read one Anne book a month from January to August. I didn’t even hesitate to jump on board for this one.

Links to my reviews of the other 7 books: Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy PoplarsAnne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley, and Rilla of Ingleside

We all know the story of Anne (at least we all should). So, I won’t go into detail about the story, but I will say that I enjoyed re-visiting Anne and all her scrapes. But, there are a couple of things I appreciated more as an adult than I did as a child; Marilla’s sarcasm, and the value L.M. Montgomery puts on education (especially for girls). And, I still cried as much as ever at the end. This really is a book for all ages.

I thought it might be fun to have a look at the Anne of Green Gables book covers over the years.

The Original cover (1908):


My copy:


My 8-year-old inscription and artwork, and my 11-year-old daughter’s signature and age, on the inside cover (which was just recently chewed on by the dog):


Covers published in 1976 and 1977 (a bit drab):


Covers published in the 1980s (bright and cheery):


Covers published in the 1990s  (back to drab):


2000-2010 (most diverse, but not as traditional):


Most recent editions (I like the graphic covers. I think the last one is my favourite.):


Now, I have to make fun of a few of them.

Grumpy Anne:


Anne Goes Trick-or-Treating:


Anne of the Desert:


Pippi of Green Gables:


Book covers that no child would ever pick up on their own:


Which one is your favourite? Which copy do you own?

You can find 105 Years of Anne of Green Gables covers at The Hairpin.

Take a look at this book cover that sparked a lot of controversy.

Matching up book covers with dresses at Talking with Tundra.

I love Lindsey’s post about the things that surprised her when she re-read Anne of Green Gables.

And, I just have to ask: Which would you rather be if you had the choice- divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?


39 thoughts on “The Many Faces of Anne of Green Gables

  1. Angélique says:

    Unfortunately in France, I never heard of Anne of Green Gables. It’s only arriving in Canada that I discovered it was a (popular) classic. Now I really want to make some time to read a few of them. I’m especially fond of the edition of Tundra ( I almost bought the whole collection once, just because it looks so nice 🙂

    • Naomi says:

      They do look nice, don’t they? The good thing about the Anne books is that they’ve been around for a while, so if you want an inexpensive set, it is not too hard to find used ones. The nice new covers are very tempting, though! I do hope you give her a try sometime! Thanks for commenting!

  2. The Paperback Princess says:

    Oh that was so much fun! Your dog has good taste!

    As a kid, I had the first one you posted from the 1980s. I had the whole series and they were perfect and sometime in some move, I lost them. So now I am replacing them with the Tundra paperbacks which are adorable (although I really want that anniversary edition and the Rifle Paper version!).

    Dazzingly clever all the way! (That’s the first time I’ve been able to definitively answer that question!)

    • Naomi says:

      I had a lot of fun putting this post together. I think there are even more covers, but this gives a pretty good idea. Some of them were terrible! The boring one with the white cover has a forward in it by Margaret Atwood, but too bad no one’s ever going to read it.
      I have to admit that, as much as I love my old copies, there are some nice new editions out there that are pretty tempting.
      I love that, in the book, there is so much emphasis on “being smart is better than being pretty”, even though Anne didn’t always agree. 🙂
      As for my dog, you can bet I’m being more careful now about where I leave my books!

      • The Paperback Princess says:

        I loved “Anne in the Desert” – what was that?? Amazing. But you’re right, a lot of those books will never get picked up by kids and that’s such a massive shame.
        I think this is the first time reading them that I realized how much emphasis is put on studying hard and being smart. Such a perfect, timeless message.
        My dog never eats my books! But I leant a book to my mom that her dachshund also enjoyed so I feel your pain.

  3. My Book Strings says:

    I had pretty hardcover editions of the series, all of them featuring a picture of Anne and not much else. I still love those books! Who ever thought those drab covers to be appealing?
    (Oh, and I have always picked to be dazzlingly clever. 🙂 )

    • Naomi says:

      Dazzlingly clever is the way to go!
      No, I can’t understand why they came up with some of those drab covers. What were they thinking? Yours sound very nice!

  4. Amy Sachs says:

    I actually just saw all the editions/faces of Nancy Drew, and it’s so interesting to see them change over time! I just love that Penguin Classics illustrated cover of Anne of Green Gables though!

  5. Leah says:

    Ooh, now I want to re-read these books! I think I had the first 1980s cover… I believe it was in a boxed set? My favorite is the third of the modern/graphic covers; it conveys a nice sense of whimsy.

  6. BuntyMcC says:

    Dazzlingly clever of you to put this post together. I didn’t read Anne until I was 60, even though I’d been on PEI for almost 35 years! My son was in the musical in Charlottetown as a ‘child of Avonlea’ for three years when he was 10-12, so I certainly knew the story! I’m pretty sure that depressing cover painting is by Robert Harris who also painted the Fathers of Confederation.

    • Naomi says:

      That just goes to show that it is never too late to read about Anne!
      And, what a fun experience for your son (and you!). With your son in the show, you probably saw it many times. 🙂 I saw it several times when I was young, but never as an adult.
      Thanks for the interesting tidbit about Robert Harris!

  7. Alice says:

    I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time this Christmas, it was beautiful, better than I expected. I’ve got the next few lined up on my Kindle for when I next feel the need for something sweet and nourishing.

    • Naomi says:

      Even having read it twice before, it was surprising to me how much I still loved reading it. Montgomery is just that good. Enjoy reading the rest!

  8. Karen @ One More Page... says:

    Hahaha! I have the “grumpy Anne” version. I think I love the mass market paperback version the most (the first in the 1980s category). It’s just so iconic! I loved seeing the different versions – how awesome for you that you have such a unique copy! Great post 🙂

    • Naomi says:

      Unfortunately, my unique copy has been partly destroyed by the dog. I picked it all up and put it in a Ziploc bag, and it will probably remain there forever. 🙂
      Ha! I see just now that you have the grumpy Anne- I’ve never seen that one before doing up my post. Her grumpy face is probably the reason it was such good value. 😉

  9. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    Thank you for linking this post to our #AnneReadAlong2017! I love the progression of covers across the years. It’s amazing how strange some of these covers are… I wonder what possessed the publishers to select these covers? Yikes. You’re right about the two that kids would never touch. Yucky.

  10. Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf says:

    Such a great post! I love how you document the covers through the years. I must admit I only really like the most recent covers and the ones from the 1980s– I would love to own all 4 of the ones you have from the most recent editions. I think Anne is so vibrant and full of life–a cover that is dull or boring just doesn’t fit her.

    Adding your link now to the read along. And I look forward to going back to your other reviews as we read the next books in the series 🙂

    • Naomi says:

      I agree – the Anne covers need to be cheery! I recently hosted an Emily readalong, and it was interesting comparing the Emily book covers with the Anne covers. In general, the Emily covers were more somber.
      Thanks for adding my link!

  11. AvalinahsBooks says:

    Wow, there are SO many covers. You know what puzzles me though? The fact that Montgomery clearly states that Anne is curly, and yet she always has straight hair. Typical! Always trying to fix us, curly girls 😦 that often makes me sad (or infuriates me, depending on my mood!)
    I’ve just finished my first book of the readalong and posted my review last week, starting Anne of Avonlea now, but not liking it as much as the first book yet. Maybe it’ll kick in still? 🙂

    • Naomi says:

      Maybe they were afraid that if they made Anne’s hair too curly, she’d be confused with Little Orphan Annie? 🙂
      I think it’s pretty typical to like the second book less than the first (I did too), but it’s still worth reading. Numbers 1, 3, 5, and 8 are my favourites!

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