I can hardly contain my excitement (no seriously – I can’t) at this new copy I just picked up about two hours ago. I was in Newtown with my folks shopping for vegan food (I’m holidaying down to Ulladulla for the next few days and I’m not sure what their situation is with Notzarella and Cheezly, and I have a huge pizza craving) when I found this beauty. From ‘Better Read than Dead‘ (but also seen in Art on King’s bookshop ‘Modern Times’) on Newtown’s King Street, and at the brilliant price of (AU)$9.99 I was absolutely chuffed with this purchase. It’s whimsical, elegant and abstract enough that it doesn’t alter how you view the novel. It shall be coming with me to the beach tomorrow!
From Sterling Publishing‘s Splinter imprint (New York) I was surprised to see it as I had only just been talking about the company the other day (I work for Sterling Publishing Australia – which is something quite different indeed!). You probably know them best as non-fiction publishers, and owners of the imprint SparkNotes. As promised from now on – ISBN: 978-1-4027-8530-6 (paperback).
Isn’t it to-die-for? While you can see the front of the cover here, the spine is also a lovely pink colour, which is the type of pink that’s not too sugar-loaded and is almost red and peach in different lights, while the back continues in the same style with a man riding a horse (presumably Darcy!) and the quote ‘You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you…’ in a handwriting/calligraphy font. What’s also lovely is that the inside of the cover hasn’t been abandoned. Just as we love it when a coat, bag or shoes has a beautiful fabric inside, this book has the lovely subtle pink colour with a Darcy quote tiled on it. Just pure gorgeousness.
The illustrated covers are also available for Sense and Sensibility as well as Jane Eyre (which ranks second favourite cover-wise to P&P) and Wuthering Heights. Emma is also featured on the Splinter/Sterling Publishing webpage as coming THIS SEPTEMBER. It’s a little hard to see what it looks like (other than orangey-yellow and of the same watercolour style), but I’m definitely excited for that one too – especially as my second favourite Austen! We can also expect Dickens’ Great Expectations in September – which I know will make many people very happy, you can see the cover art on the site here.
It’s referred to as the ‘Classic Lines’ collection, with the fairly apt comment: “The Classic Lines Collection completes an outfit like a designer handbag. These literary must-haves are only available from the chic House of SPLINTER“. There are also eBooks available for the titles, however I recommend the paperback as the paper it is printed on has a soft luxurious consistency that makes the reading experience just that tiny bit better.
It has only been released this year, and from speaking with the Service Assistant at the Newtown store he told me that they had only had the books in for under a month – this makes sense as I am a pretty regular stalker of the Jane Austen shelves at these shops.
Cover Illustrator Sarah Singh, a fashion illustrator for many different publications including Vogue as well as designers Tiffancy and Givenchy, has comments within the book explaining that she also looked at the different film adaptations as well as considering the characters, and focused on how the clothes would have felt to wear and move in before putting her drawings into Photoshop. She had also visited an historical fashion exhibition in Sweden that helped inform her decision to use watercolour to design the four book covers. The idea of ‘couture fashion’ is definitely there throughout the whole book, from the font – Lapidary 333 Roman by Eric Gall 2000 – and, what it calls, ‘luxurious ‘Soft-Touch’ lamination finishes’ (which is the one thing I love most about this book – I believe it is the same feel as The Time Traveller’s Wife and the other books in Random House’s Vintage Loves Rainbow collection!). According to an interview Ms Singh did with Making the Grade Reviews she also watched Jane Campion’s The Piano (an amazing film) for research and did a hefty amount of Googling.
The way it describes the novel itself is also an area of interest for me, and looks at it in quite a young, modern way. ‘Romance, betrayal and miscommunication surround two sisters in Pride and Prejudice’ the inner flap reads. I think this introduces it almost like a movie, and the idea of a bit of Hollywood-glamour ties in with the presentation nicely, and probably helps attract the target demographic of younger females.
It’s 416 pages and the paper is that perfect thickness for both a gift book and for reading. One thing that bugged me, but was probably just a shop thing and not related to the book, is that there is a security tag sticker within the book that even now I’ve bought seems impossible to budge without ripping the page.
Food for thought – it’s interesting to see fashion design and book cover illustrating crossing paths so much, and to much success! Our other favourite cover – the black and white quirky beauty – was from Reuben Toledo (for Penguin’s Deluxe editions) who also illustrated for Vogue and The New York Times, as well as Harper’s Bazaar. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this sort of innovation in the future – books and fashion together cannot be a bad mix, surely?
Are you going to pick up a copy? Get in quick – there weren’t many on the shelves in Newtown!