I recently received a copy of Anne of Green Gables from Alma Books.  As anyone who has known me for more than a few moments will know, I am great admirer of LM Montgomery’s books.  I’ve written about them at length here and drive my colleagues to distraction singing her praises.  So, obviously, this is not the first copy of Anne of Green Gables I’ve ever seen or owned.  Since the copyright on the work expired it seems like every publisher has issued its own edition.  Naturally the text remains the same so they’re all looking for a way to make their own stand out whether by commissioning an introduction from a well-known author, adding notes, including extra material or inserting illustrations.  And then there’s the front cover…

Alma Books has included helpful notes on the text, a short biography of Lucy Maud, a brief history of the novel and its main characters. It also offers a quick overview of some other well-known orphans in children’s literature.  There are chapter heading illustrations by Susan Hellard which I rather like as well as a front cover that I don’t (although she does get Anne’s hair right unlike a remarkable number of illustrators).

I’m really pleased to have this copy and will add it to my already large collection. At first glance it seemed a pretty unremarkable addition but then I read the blurb, something I had neglected to do as I sort of know the story!  Pretty much everything it says is true but it has a very modern feel to it, clearly designed to appeal to today’s readers.  I’m not knocking this – far from it – but it did occur to me to wonder how blurbs have changed over time.  Needless to say, I will be looking in to this and will report back!

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