Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Feel free to judge these books by their covers

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. 
(Mark Twain)

My apologies to Mr Twain this morning, because I definitely don’t agree with him there. Most of my favourite books are classics and I’d choose them over contemporary books any day. I’m especially fond of works by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. So imagine my delight when I discovered this beautiful new collection of Penguin Classics created by designer Coralie Bickford-Smith. Each book has a cloth cover with foil patterns stamped on, colored endpapers and ribbon markers. 

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The collection includes:
Cranford (Elizabeth Gaskell) 
Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë) 
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde) 
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) 
Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen) 
Emma (Jane Austen)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (Arthur Conan Doyle)
Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Lewis Carroll)
Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson)
The Odyssey (Homer)
Lady Chatterley’s Lover (DH Lawrence)
The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins)
Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert)
Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
The Sonnets and A Lover’s Complaint (William Shakespeare)
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)

All of these are available from at around R200 each. There’s also an interesting interview with Coralie about this collection here.

(Click to enlarge)

How do you feel about the classics? Which contemporary writers can you recommend? Let me know – I’m such a bookworm. 


  1. Oh how i do love books! And if they are pretty, so much the better! My bookshelve wouldn't mind these classics!!

  2. Ooo! Yessss...
    Give me Charlotte Brontë / Oscar Wilde / Homer / Euripides / Shakespeare / Virginia Woolf / Alan Paton / even Austen any day! And even more so with pretty covers :)
    If you haven't already, give Michael Cunningham or Anne Michaels a read...

  3. Somehow it seems as if the story would be even better in a beautiful cover, don't you think? I'm such a fan of Dickens at the moment.