Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

[BRIEF NOTE] Anne of Green Gables and Sex Scandals

Reading Wikipedia’s entry on Anne of Green Gables, I was amused to discover that L.M. Montgomery used as a model a newspaper photo of the infamous Evelyn Nesbitt. At the time of writing, Nesbit was most famous for being the unwitting instigator of the murder of famous architect Stanford White by the unstable millionaire heir Harry K. Thaw, Thaw being outraged that White had taken his wife’s virginity.

This isn’t the first time that Anne of Green Gables played a role in an early 20th century sex scandal. Take Mary Miles Minter, a child star who featured in the now lost 1919 film version of Anne of Green Gables</a>, but whose lasting fame came from her peripheral involvement in the sensational case of the murder of her lover (and Anne’s director) William Desmond Taylor, going on to play a small but notable role in the birth of film noir.

Minter’s involvement in Anne of Green Gables wasn’t at all a product of Montgomery’s will, mind, since Montgomery seems to have had only a peripheral involvement in that movie’s filming. The Taylor scandal took place three years after the filming, and was hardly foreseeable. The choice of Nesbitt, now was deliberately made by Montgomery herself. Why? Perhaps, just maybe, Montgoemry had different sorts of heroines in mind.
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