From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Ryder:
In my opinion, the true sign of loving a book is owning multiple copies and versions of it. For example, I myself own six different copies of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Over the years, I’ve found annotated versions, paperbacks, hardcovers, illustrated, vintage, and many other types of printings. I enjoy collecting different copies to compare covers, prefaces, introductions, and illustrations (if they have them.) I love finding new and used bookstores and scouring the shelves for new copies of my favorite books. As a collector will tell you, you can never have enough. I was therefore understandably excited to receive a copy of Jane Austen Cover to Cover by Margret Sullivan, which is a great companion for any Austen collector.
Cover to Cover is a collection of various Jane Austen covers, from the first printing of Sense and Sensibility to modern covers printed around the world. Interlaced with these covers are descriptions and historical facts, including a mini-biography of Austen’s life, as well as tips on collecting Austen’s works for the mini-librarian in all of us. Pertinent and humorous quotes are sprinkled in as well, along with the beautiful images of the covers themselves. There’s also even a section displaying and discussing the covers of the movie adaptations of Austen’s works.
At first glance, I thought this book would be a perfect coffee table companion and a great conversation piece. It’s larger than an average novel, and it has an interesting collage of various Austen covers on its cover. I was really impressed with Sullivan’s commentary. It was very well researched, and didn’t read as a history lesson, but rather from one fan to another. She took the time to make what she was writing appealing, and her words pair well with the glossy covers that abut them.
I really enjoyed learning about the international editions, some of them had some really funny 60’s and 70’s pulp covers that looked like the noir covers you’d find on old mystery books. On the other hand, you can’t help but admire the famous “peacock cover” of 1894. I even have a tee shirt with this cover on it from Out of Print.com! With all of these interesting covers to peruse, it’s easy to get lost in this book. I’m already looking forward to my next trip to the bookstore so that I can increase my collection (much to my husband’s chagrin!) For those of you with an Austen lover in your life, this Valentine’s Day would be a perfect time to gift this book!
5 out of 5 Stars
Jane Austen Cover to Cover: 200 Years of Classic Covers, by Margaret C. Sullivan
Quirk Books (11 November 2014), 224 pages
eBook: ASIN: B00KEOF6LU
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-1594747250
Cover & images courtesy of Quirk Books © 2014; text Kimberly Denny-Ryder © 2015, Austenprose.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received one review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. We only review or recommend products we have read or used and believe will be a good match for our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”