Monday, December 1, 2014

Review- Jane Austen Cover to Cover by Margaret C. Sullivan

Genre: Non-fiction
Hardcover - 224 pgs
Published by Quirk Books
Source: Review Copy from Quirk 
Add it // Buy it 
Rating: 5/5

Jane Austen’s six novels are true classics, still immensely popular some 200 years after their first publication. But although the celebrated stories never change, the covers are always different. Jane Austen Cover to Cover compiles two centuries of design, from elegant Victorian hardcovers and the famed 1894 “Peacock” edition to 1950s pulp, movie tie-in editions, graphic novels, foreign-language translations, and many, many others. Filled with beautiful artwork and insightful commentary, this fascinating and visually intriguing collection is a must for Janeites, design geeks, and book lovers of every stripe.

In true Janeite fashion I cannot fix upon the page or the cover that made me fall in love with this book. It may have been the moment I opened it! When I stumbled onto a twitter post that gave me the chance to review this book, I jumped on it. It is appealing to the Jane Austen fan that I am and my bibliophile side simply because it is a book about beautiful books.

First of all, the physical copy is so delightful to read and look through. The interior and pages are bright and colorful with so many quotes and interesting facts about Austen, her characters, and her books thrown in between the covers. Within the collection of Austen's book covers, there is a history of publishing and readership of her books as well. The stories of the covers and pictures are so interesting. I loved to see the cover trends based on time periods and popularity of the works. The pictures are beautiful and I found so many beautiful covers I wish were on my shelves! My favorite is probably the Peacock edition like so many others, but I also loved some of the more modern sets like the Penguin Limited Editions.

Another wonderful thing about this book is I know I'll be able to read it and look through a lot and learn something new every time. I started out trying to read the whole book, but I kept stalling after a few pages. Instead a few days later I flipped through it reading pages that interested me and skipping the ones that didn't. A few days after that I did the same thing again. After several peruses through the book, I feel like I've gotten a lot of knowledge and enjoyment out of the book without sitting down to read it straight through. It was so much fun to find my copies of Austen's novels as well.

This would make an excellent Christmas gift for any Austen fan in your life. The book is fun and interesting plus it can be enjoyed again and again. I would highly recommend it!

*The publisher sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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