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What makes a good ("Pride and Prejudice") book jacket?

P&p Clearly designers have had trouble creating one that makes you want to lunge at the book and immerse yourself in Jane Austen for the next several hours. Witness the heinous covers Flavorwire found (and one great, if utterly random, one) for Austen's classic. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy would be appalled.

Thanks to Friend of the Blog Amy C for passing this along.


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I love the show Work of Art. Couldn't believe some of the crap these 'artists' came up with, though there were some excellent ones as well in addition to the winner for Time Machine. Myles's Frankenstein was pretty damn good as was the Dracula one. The old bat who was voted off had the balls to spell Pride and Prejudice backwards (!!) as her cover art. It was absurd.


I get the heinous covers, but is the black and white peacock cover really an example of excellent cover design? It looks like a cross between an Escher sketch and a tie that my granfather would wear in teh eighties.


I was wondering the same thing, Patrick...it's kind of funky but what the hell does it have to do with anything???? There aren't any peacocks in P&P!

Jennifer Duke

The peacock is a symbol (and has been used in a few Pride and Prejudice remakes) of the Regency era, of pride, of facades... and plenty of other things.
That cover is also one of the oldest of the illustrated versions of PandP.
I think it's striking and takes something different from it rather than just the typical love story. It's also rather elegant- and reminds me of Pemberley and grand estates.
I did a book list a long time ago of the top 10 Pride and Prejudice covers. Amusingly, plenty of ours overlapped good/bad. I think a good cover is something that encourages an entirely different audience. To me, moving Twilighters over to PROPER literature is a great thing. http://thebennetsisters.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/top-ten-pride-and-prejudice-book-covers/
I'm going to do a 'worst ten' soon when I find enough that I dislike enough.

I thought the attempts of the artists on the new hit art TV show at making the covers were interesting as well- how awful! I wrote about it before: http://thebennetsisters.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/when-reality-television-gets-its-hands-on-pride-and-prejudice/

I sort of think that a book cover is a personal thing. I'm totally loving Penguin's new set of covers where you design it yourself. I'm overly tempted to buy a DIY Emma!


They should just put Colin Firth on the cover. It would fly off the shelves.

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