Jane Austen Cover to Cover

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jane Austen 
Cover to Cover:
200 Years of Classic Book Covers 
by Margaret C. Sullivan 

I have a feeling that most people already know if they are going to like this book or not. You aren’t going to have very many people who hate Jane Austen debating on whether or not to pick up a copy. But for those of us who love her work, this collection is an absolute delight!   

I knew the book would have dozens of different covers of her work from over the years, but I wasn’t expecting the intricate background information it included. From Austen’s personal history to the path of publication of her novels, Sullivan provides some wonderful details. She walks us through all the different editions that were released, the peaks and valleys of Austen’s population over the past two centuries and more.

The photos of the covers themselves are obviously the main attraction. There have been so many different versions of the books and this tome doesn’t even include all of them. I loved seeing how different design trends affected the versions that were released in each decade. 

One of my favorite aspects is the author's snarky comments about some of the more melodramatic covers. I’ll admit that if I’d seen some of those cover before reading the books, I might have developed a distaste for Austen without ever trying her work!  Sullivan also includes pulled quotes from the novels and Jane Austen's letters, which was lovely. In one of her letters Austen refers to the books as her “children.”     

BOTTOM LINE: Just gorgeous, the book is beautifully done and is a must for any true Janeites' bookshelves.

*I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Anonymous said...

Ooh, now I need to buy myself a Christmas present! ;)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

abibliophilesstyle - It is just lovely!

Anonymous said...

I bought it with a giftcard I got for Christmas, and I finished it yesterday. :) Fabulous book! I loved all the info about publishing, and the author's snark had me laughing.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

abibliophilesstyle - Oh yay!!! Isn't it such a lovely edition. It's so well done.

Anonymous said...

This is right up my alley! That melodramatic cover is just awful!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

misfortuneofknowing - Isn't that one hilarious!