My daughter and I are reading Anne of Green Gables, written by L. M. Montgomery and published in 1908. Below is one of the scenes in which Anne decides to dye her red hair.
“The peddler that was here this afternoon. I bought the dye from him.”
“Anne Shirley, how often have I told you never to let one of those Italians in the house! I don’t believe in encouraging them to come around at all.”
“Oh, I didn’t let him in the house. I remembered what you told me, and I went out, carefully shut the door, and looked at his things on the step. Besides, he wasn’t an Italian—he was a German Jew. He had a big box full of very interesting things and he told me he was working hard to make enough money to bring his wife and children out from Germany. He spoke so feelingly about them that it touched my heart. I wanted to buy something from him to help him in such a worthy object. Then all at once I saw a bottle of hair dye. The peddler said it was warranted to dye any hair a beautiful raven black and wouldn’t wash off. In a trice I saw myself with beautiful raven-black hair…”
What do you think? I won’t tell you what I read in the book “Looking for Anne of Green Gables: The Story of L. M. Montgomery and Her Literary Classic,” a recent biography by Irene Gammel. I’d like to hear your reaction to this passage.