Feb 132015

Jane Austen Cover to CoverA History of Jane Austen In Print!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

There are probably more than a few instances in every reader’s life when they have been induced to pick up or click on a book due to its outward appearance. When choosing cover, authors and publishers put a lot of thought into the audience they are trying to appeal to and often take great effort to package their book to attract and entice readers. Having been first published over two hundred years, Jane Austen’s books have seen many editions, reprints, and yes, lots of different and diverse covers. In this colorful and comprehensive compilation, author Margaret C. Sullivan takes readers on a visual journey of the many editions and covers that have housed the wonderful works written by Jane Austen.

This outstanding compilation is a true gem filled with beauty, information, and wit! I loved how these books were grouped and organized into separate chapters. These six chapters travel in chronological order beginning with the first editions published by Thomas Egerton and ending with a chapter devoted to the many different translated editions of Jane Austen works. There are large and lavish images of each cover with informative subsets and relevant Jane Austen quotes interspersed in between. All of which enhanced the interesting information and presented it in a stylish and tasteful way.

Besides the elegant visuals, my favorite element of this compilation was reading the hilarious and candid observations on covers made by Margaret C. Sullivan! Talk about acerbic wit!

Persuasion’s Captain Wentworth appears to be alarmed by Anne Elliot’s décolletage, or perhaps that she seems to have forgotten to wear her stays.” – page 54

…he looks like he fell off an Old Spice bottle.” – page 57

Surely lovely Marianne and sensible Elinor weren’t as tight-lipped as these prim and dour maidens, with their thousand-yard stares and hair plastered over their ears. How is Willoughby supposed to clip a lock?” – page 98

…she looks more like a girl going to a Goth prom than a character in a Jane Austen novel.” – page 127

LOL, right? It truly was interesting to think of what prompted publishers to choose the covers and styles they did. In addition, I found it fascinating to learn that many editions made changes to Jane Austen’s text!! Whether it is adding additional forwards and annotations, removing some of Elizabeth Bennet’s sauciness, or rewriting the text in a simpler language for young readers.

Jane Austen Cover to Cover is a treasure for ardent fans of Jane Austen and book-collecting! There is so much to discover from Ms. Sullivan’s thoughtful research, and the little touches she adds make this compilation everything that is elegant and enchanting! Off I go now to expand my own personal library!

Filming credit goes to my darling brother!

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Inspired by the classifying of Jane Austen’s novels by edition in this compilation, I thought it would be fun to look at my own collection and see what I have. It is a small lot, I don’t have room to buy a lot of double and triple copies…but maybe later on!

1829867  1393818  894019  41884

 1 Vintage Classic, 1 Bantam Classic, 1 Barnes and Noble Hardcover, 1 Modern Library Classics

711430  7486936  1886  51o5FaMt8QL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

2 Signet Classics, 1 Penguin Classics, 1 Oxford World’s Classics

    The Annotated Persuasion  pride-and-prejudice-an-annotated-edition2

1 Anchor Books Revised, 1 Harvard Annotated

What a mish-mash! It drives me up the wall that I don’t have any edition fully complete! UGGHHH!

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  24 Responses to “Jane Austen Cover to Cover – Margaret C. Sullivan”


    WHAT??? No ‘Cozy Classics’?? Which are so adorably cute! Oh, I can’t wait to get this. Tomorrow is Valentines Day. I may have to bat my eyes at MY Mr Darcy and drop a hint. 😉

    Seriously, what a beautiful and beautifully researched book. This has been on my radar and is already on my wish list. Congratulations to the author, and as always Meredith, thank your for the lovely review.


      LOL! I know! *hangs head in shame* and I have 4 BabyLit books but none of them are Jane Austen! I will definitely have complete sets of both when Mr. Bingley and I have children! 🙂

      Hope you Mr. Darcy picks up on the hint! 🙂 Truly is beautiful in every way!


    I like cover illo of the Oxford World Classics edition of Persuasion, but I worry: is Anne suffering from scoliosis?


    Haha! Those comments are funny. This book about the covers sounds good.


    I have to confess that I’m very fond of covers! They’re very important for me when choosing a book although, of course, if the novel is really good and the cover is ugly, I’ll buy it and later I’ll put others photos on it LOL
    Meredith, I have the same penguin classic edition of P&P like you 😉


      I’m with you, Teresa! A book’s cover can predispose you to think differently about a book. I always spend a lot of time looking at front and back covers while reading a book. 😉 Good solution!


    Can you judge a book by its cover? This one you can. It has pride of place on my bookshelf and I admit to taking it out and just drooling over some of the pages (I will NOT say which ones). You are absolutely correct, Meredith. This is a keeper!


      Definitely, Joy! Reading is a visual experience, I’ve always felta book’s aesthetics and style is important. Speaking of covers, I just love the cover for this book! So tasteful and elegant!


    *Sigh* That video and the music you chose was just what I needed… how can I stop myself from buying it!? I keep saying “No more new books for a while, Maria. You have to control yourself. You have so many unread books…” Easier said than done! I’ll try to resist… 😀 Loved your review!!


    Meredith, please thank “darling brother” for the video. I loved it and this book is a “must have” for me. A thought just occurred to me that maybe covers are a small part of why I love “real” books so much!! Thank you for the great review and video!


    OK! You’ve tempted me to buy it. After watching your online review I went to watch it again, but somehow got Northhanger Abbey with italian subtitles (the Andrew Davies one). So I just settled in to start watching it, as I hadn’t seen it in awhile. 🙂


    Great start to my morning with Margaret’s witty observations – I’ve had a good laugh! and can only imagine an entire book of them 🙂 Def a healthy read !
    I ‘m another who luvs my covers and won’t pass one up if it’s a lovely interpretation of the story. Of course I have a daughter and 2 dils who will benefit at some point 😉


    Oh, I must have this!!:)


    Hats off to your brother! Loved the production and the music. This book is a “must have” so I am off to find it on Amazon…I can’t afford nor do I have the room to own multiple copies of JA’s books but this book would allow me to enjoy the covers at a minimum.


    Love to meet a new author. I admire you authors, but being a reader is needed too. You do want us to read your books. And they are all so inspiring. juanitawickey@gmail.com

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