Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables in Cavendish PEI.

Well, 1908 was the year Anne of Green Gables was published. The book was an immediate hit in London, with the London World predicting that the story would take its place with Little Women and Alice in Wonderland.

A Boston Paper claimed that the book would be read, like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, by both children and adults.

One New York Times article reports that the book is in its third printing in the UK (still 1908) but that the story could easily be an American story, except for the mention of Queen's College.

And the Montreal Gazette had a fine review too (so I will have someone give Flora a copy.)

That article said the book is the fruit of a richly endowed mind and imaginative capacity.

I have to admit, I have never read the book (I sort of went from picture books to adult books.)

I did really like the Meaghan Follows tv adaptaption and still watch it any time I can.

Now, it's easy to see what captured the hearts of readers, but I wonder what about the story appealed to the 1908 citizen specifically. A smart, feisty girl, with no family surviving and getting ahead on the sheer force of her personality. (Like Elizabeth Bennett, again.). Remember how important 'connections' were to the Nicholson girls... and how important the sisters were to each other.

To be alone in the world then was no picnic.

Flora probably loved the book; she was a dreamer and all the Nicholson women were feisty, although Marion was the feistiest.

You know, you read the list of bestsellers in the era and VERY FEW books have survived the century, even if they were very popular back at the time of their publication.

Even Little Women isn't as popular now as it was when I was a child. (It was one of the first novels I ever read because my mother ordered it from a book club.) I got Little Women and Big Red.

The Elizabeth Taylor movie helped that book remain popular in the mid 20th century.

Anne of Green Gables, supposedly, is or was popular in Japan in the 70's... was this because Japanese women were experiencing what NA women went through at the turn of the century?

Alice in Wonderland, well, that's a book of entirely a different order, I think. I mean, it's just been made into a movie, again.