LMM’s books: analyzing the covers

(This post isn’t anything deep or analytical, as the title might suggest – it’s just a look at the covers for some of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books, and how accurate or inaccurate the depictions of the characters are.  I’ve always been interested in the covers, and I figured that now is as good a time as any to share my thoughts on the subject.  Pure fluff, of course, but hopefully it’ll be entertaining fluff.)

#1 – Anne of Ingleside


Just so you know, I’m focusing on the later Anne books because all the earlier ones just have Anne on the cover (sometimes Gilbert, too), which doesn’t provide much scope for imagination.  Or comments.  Anywayyyyy…I think it’s pretty obvious that the two girls in front are Nan and Di – the red-head would be Di, and the brunette Nan.  As for the boys in the back, the one on the far left is Walter, I believe, because he has straight, black hair and is reading a book.  And then Jem is beside him, and then Shirley, a conclusion that is mainly based on their height, although if you squint, you can kinda make out Jem’s red hair.

#2 – Rainbow Valley


Now here’s where things get a little complicated.  The girl holding the flowers on the far right is Nan.  I think.  Or Faith, but I’m pretty sure it’s Nan.  The boy standing beside her is Walter, as far as I can make out.  He’s got black hair and some kind of book or drawings in his hand.  The girl standing beside Walter is definitely Faith.  She looks like how I imagined Faith, anyway.  And then things get interesting, because there are TWO red-haired girls – one is Di, but who’s the other?  Neither Mary Vance nor Una has red hair.  Huh.  But the last boy is SO Jerry.

#3 – The Blue Castle


I have two problems with this cover.  First of all, why isn’t Valancy wearing some gorgeous 20s-era gown?  Like all the beautiful ones in Downton Abbey.  SUCH a missed opportunity, people.  And is it just me, or does the dress she actually has on look a lot like the one Rilla wears here?  Weird.  And my second problem, is that guy in the background.  I won’t call him Barney, because he’s not.  Barney does NOT have blond hair, and he doesn’t wear weird scarf things either.  Ugh.  In my opinion, Barney looks like this guy. (*winks at Naomi*)

#4 – Kilmeney of the Orchard


Kilmeney is my second least-favorite Montgomery book (The Blythes Are Quoted is at the very bottom), but I happen to love this cover, and I think it’s very accurate to the book. (Though does Kilmeney have black hair?  For some reason, I thought she was blonde, but I could be mistaken.)  Kilmeney looks sweet and young and pretty, as she ought to be, and I’m glad they included her violin on the cover – she’s my favorite character in the book, even if she is a bit of a Mary Sue, and I think the illustrator did her justice. (Her dress is quite nice, too.)  And I’m glad Eric is standing wayyyyy back because a) this looks like when he first sees her, so he’d naturally be distant and b) he annoys me to no end.  Easily my least favorite Montgomery hero – in fact, I don’t think he deserves to be called a hero at all.  But that’s another post for another day…

#5 – The Story Girl


Finally, there’s The Story Girl.  *squints at the cover*  Um…from left to right, I think it’s Bev (or Dan), the Story Girl (because she’s holding Pat), Felicity (the blonde hair, of course), and Peter (because he’s right next to Felicity, only I’m not sure whether his hair in the book was blond or brown or what – but I’m still pretty sure it’s Peter).  My question is, why are there only four children on the cover?  We’re still missing (if I go with my first guesses) Dan, Felix, Cecily, and Sara Ray.  That’s half the children!  At least they got Pat in there.

What are your thoughts on these covers?  Are there any other covers you would have liked me to talk about?



16 thoughts on “LMM’s books: analyzing the covers

  1. Do you know, I’ve never seen a really GOOD cover for Rilla of Ingleside? Except for that purple one that Naomi got. But that one didn’t have any of the characters actually on it . . . I don’t like that picture of Rilla in the white dress very much. She doesn’t look much like I imagine Rilla ought to . . . Oh, well.


  2. I think on Rainbow Valley the one holding flowers is Mary Vance (I know she is supposed to be blonde) or it could be Leslie’s daughter because she is so much better dressed than the others. The Merediths had threadbare clothes . . . and that is not really Faith’s style. I think the other redhead is probably a much too old Rilla. Yeah, I have to wonder if the artist read the book; so much is off and so many kids are missing!


  3. I have that rainbow valley cover, and I spent hours trying to figure out who’s who! (Maybe I exagerrated a leetle bit…) Anne of Green Gables Wiki says Faith is on the far right? But I think she’s holding the basket like you do!
    And what is with that ROI cover! That dress is not flattering! And doesn’t Rilla have red hair?
    I always enjoy figuring out the cover, but I wish the authors would at least get a character identification chart or something!


    • Oh, I looked at the Wiki for help with hair colors and such, but I don’t follow their opinion of who’s-who. 😛 The Wiki says Rilla’s hair is reddish-brown – I think Jem is the only child who truly inherited Anne’s fiery hair.


  4. I have spent many a time trying to analyze Rainbow Valley’s cover to no avail. It simply makes no sense.

    Yes, the cover for Kilmeny is definitely my favorite, and I love that they included the violin. But it’s your least favorite? I liked it, although its been sometime since I’ve read it. My least favorite Montgomery book is Magic for Marigold, hands down. It was just pretty “meh” overall except for one or two chapters.

    The Blue Castle cover is sadly lacking any 1920s flair. There is this newer cover that I rather like, though, at least better than the other one: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Castle-Lucy-Maud-Montgomery-ebook/dp/B015C3W73M/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449184244&sr=1-2&keywords=the+blue+castle

    And I like these covers for the Anne series, even if they don’t have people on the cover: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Rilla-of-Ingleside/L-M-Montgomery/An-Anne-of-Green-Gables-Novel/9781442490208


    • I think Kilmeney is one of my least favorites because Eric gets on my nerves, and I don’t appreciate the racist way in which LMM portrayed that Italian boy (I forget his name). But in some ways, it’s still a sweet story.

      Those covers (both for Blue Castle and Anne) are lovely. All I have are the old covers, like the ones in this post. 😛


  5. Eww, that Blue Castle cover is WEIRD. I have never liked it. (You’re right! Valancy’s dress is almost identical to Rilla’s! I spotted the same!) YES. BARNEY LOOKS LIKE THAT. 🙂 *winks back*

    I actually love Kilmeny of the Orchard. 🙂 It’s adorable. 🙂 (Yes, Kilmeny does have black hair in the book. Pretty sure.)

    WHY did they only put FOUR kids on the Story Girl cover. SILLY ARTIST. 😛

    I loved this post!

    ~ Naomi


    • There’s another old cover for Blue Castle that’s marginally better – it’s a picture of Barney and Valancy standing on a bridge, surrounded by trees, but the only image of it I could find was too small to put in my post. 😛 But I do like that one better.

      Eh…Eric/LMM’s portrayal of that Italian boy kind of ruined it for me. 😛

      Glad you liked it!


  6. Oh goodness, you are right! Valency’s dress looks just like Rilla’s. I’d been wondering what was wrong with that cover 😛

    And Kilmeny was supposed to have black hair – “thick jet black hair.” So they did get that right. I don’t like Eric either! And the Italian boy WAS way over the top. Too stereotyped, I think. He wasn’t REAL.


  7. Yeah, the only sense I could ever make out of the Rainbow Valley cover was that one of the red-headed girls was supposed to be Rilla, but she was portrayed much too old. But the girl in pink is definitely Faith; that’s just the way I picture her.

    The Kilmeny one is really perfect for the book. It’s probably my least favorite Montgomery too, mainly because it’s rather melodramatic (kind of like Anne’s early fiction attempts that Montgomery poked fun at!). And The Blue Castle looks like it was simply remodeled from the Rilla cover, or vice versa!


  8. I guess I never studied the covers too much. I think it’s because I don’t want the artist’s version to affect the picture I have in my head. Probably a good thing since most of these covers totally miss the boat.


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