Book Travelling Thursdays is a weekly meme for book bloggers which celebrates the distance a book travels around the world through its covers in different countries. It was created by Catia and Danielle and you can visit the Goodreads group for more information.
This week’s topic is related to siblings: National Siblings Day is a few days away. Choose a book that has your favourite bookish siblings. Although I did toy with the idea of featuring the Weasleys from the Harry Potter series, I decided to go classical and pick the Bennets from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. These siblings may not be perfect, they may annoy the hell out of each other, they may be so very different, but in my opinion they make up one of the most entertaining families to read about in literature. (The 2005 Joe Wright Pride and Prejudice film is the very best at portraying this family dynamic on-screen, I highly recommend it, even above the seminal 1995 BBC miniseries!)
Since I’m sure Pride and Prejudice needs no introduction I’ll just move straight on to the covers themselves…
Original Cover – published by Thomas Egerton, 1813
As is the case with a lot of classics from this period, they were often sold in hardcover volumes and the covers aren’t exactly flaunting the kind of book design necessary in today’s publishing industry. But, for curiosity’s sake I found this article which looks at 200 years of cover design of Pride and Prejudice, and found the above images which are a copy of the original front page and an example of a first edition recently listed at auction. Like I said, not exactly thrilling – mind you, I’d find it more thrilling if I happened to own one of the first editions!
Cover(s) from my country, UK – published by Penguin, various years
Because Pride and Prejudice is a classic, it’s basically a free-for-all for publishers to produce editions of the novel – some do it better than others but there’s a wealth of different editions on the market, especially in the UK. Penguin in particular always knock it out of the park with their various different classics lines, and what you see above are Pride and Prejudice in their different lines – the Penguin English Library, the Penguin Clothbounds, and the Penguin Drop Cap editions.
Favourite Cover(s) – published by Penguin (Deluxe Edition), 2009; Vintage, 2008; Folio Society (Illustrated Edition),2013
For all I’m mostly against a lot of the film tie-in editions and mass market paperback editions because of sloppy/lazy cover design, a lot of Pride and Prejudice covers actually don’t show the characters but rather instead they focus on objects or patterns – the popular Penguin editions I showed above prove that trend in this novel’s book design. For that reason I find it hard to pick a favourite cover since they’re all quite beautiful, however, I have tried to choose a few editions that actually showed characters, and showed them well! I think my absolute favourite is probably the Folio Society edition – they’re always so out of my price range but they produce beautiful collectable editions and I love the use of silhouettes which ties the cover back into the novel’s time period.
Least Favourite Cover – published by HarperTeen, 2009
Listen, I’m not completely averse to Twilight, I adored Twilight for what it was when it was released – and I fess up, I’m responsible for making my friends read it when it still wasn’t that huge in the UK. And I admire the efforts of publishing companies to make classics more accessible to younger and teen readers – I just don’t think repackaging classics such as Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice with similar cover design to the Twilight series is all that effective. I dislike the font now as I associate it only with Twilight (that’s part of the reason I’m a little disappointed with This Savage Song‘s UK cover) so, to me, it has no place in a Pride and Prejudice cover. I don’t really understand the flower imagery either, it has nothing to do with the story, it doesn’t even represent something in a cool abstract way.
So there we have it, this week’s Book Travelling Thursday. What do you think of these covers? Which is your favourite? Have you participated in Book Travelling Thursday too? Let me know in the comments!