How dare the 1970s Children’s Literature community reject Anne of Green Gables as a “classic,” because the success of LM Montgomery‘s novels was “viewed as symptomatic of their lack of serious value”?
Like Phyllis Reeve, the reviewer of Carole Gerson and Peggy Kelly’s Hearing More Voices: English-Canadian Women in Print and on the Air, 1914-1960, I was appalled to learn of such an opinion. I’m sure that readers of my generation (interestingly, those who would have encountered Anne in the early 1970s) absolutely considered Anne of Green Gables already to be a classic. Another favourite of the reviewer is children’s author and radio presenter Mary Grannan (“Just Mary”). This is undoubtedly why she opens her review with a foray into her childhood reading, and thus why I am posting here. In addition to including children’s authors, of course, Hearing More Voices presents more broadly “aspects of the lives and works of Canadian female writers and broadcasters within a tumultuous period during our socio-economic and political history: 1914-1960.” Like our CEWW project, the authors focus on lesser known writers who, whether they are children’s literature authors or not, are well worth reading about.