Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Showcasing 200 years of Jane Austen book covers with large color photographs and entertainingly informative text, this is a book Austen fans will treasure, but really anyone interested in history, the evolution of book publishing, or changes in graphic art will have lots to enjoy in its pages. The covers chosen vary wildly, from gorgeous to hilarious, and the passages explaining their circumstances and putting them in historical context are fascinating.
In Austen’s own day each title was published in three volumes, bound demurely in what looks like leather and decorated with gold lettering and modestly patterned designs, but by the 1840’s the smooth ride of train travel had revolutionized life and reading habits so wonderful looking but inexpensive editions with brightly colored picture covers were sold in railway station bookstalls. The most stunning cover is maybe the Peacock edition of Pride and Prejudice published by George Allen in 1894, though there are more than a few contenders. Through the years there have been many variations: sweet covers, noir covers, psychedelic covers, tastefully classic covers, YA influenced covers, and even slightly risque covers. Since Austen has fans all over the world it’s only fitting that there’s a section of covers from around the globe, lettered in languages other than English.
Jane Austen Cover to Cover opens with a timeline that stretches from Austen’s birth to the first episode of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and it includes a brief synopsis of each novel and novel fragment in its final pages. I read a fully finished copy of this very lovely book provided without cost to me by the publisher through LibraryThing. The review opinions are mine.