Old Books; New Covers!

From Design Sponge: Last fall, Penguin Classics released a series of ten classics exclusive to Waterstone’s in the UK with covers designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

penguin classics series 1

In November of this year in the US, Penguin Classics will release eight classics from that first set (not Madame Bovary or Crime and Punishment).

Great Expectations

Sense & Sensibility


Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Pride & Prejudice

Jane Eyre

Picture of Dorian Gray

Wuthering Heights

According to Design Sponge, volumes from the first set will be available at Anthropologie and urban Outfitters; I’ve linked above to the volumes at amazon.com (search for Coralie Bickford-Smith + Penguin Classics.)

In the UK, a second exclusive series for Waterstone’s will be available this October.

penguin classics 2 set

No word yet on when (if?) the second set’ll arrive stateside.

As I was researching this, I found a striking set of Penguin Classics with covers by fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo:

Ruben Toledo pride and prejudciePride and Prejudice

Ruben Toledo Scarlet LetterThe Scarlet Letter

Ruben Toledo Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights

For the even more striking front AND back covers see Stylehive.

Penguin also has its series of “graphic classics” with covers by comic-book artists. Their focus on design continues to provide a variety of books-as-covetable-objects.

(I spent loads of time researching them and putting this together because I had a hunch you’d appreciate the images and links; was I correct?)

3 Responses to “Old Books; New Covers!”

  1. Amy Says:

    You were correct! I already have the last group winging its way via Amazon to me–might be here tomorrow. Very interested in the others. Beautiful.

  2. girldetective Says:

    The Toledos, do you mean? It’s odd, but I haven’t been much moved to buy the comic-book cover ones. Maybe because they aren’t books I love or want want want to read, but also because they’re so singular I think one loves them or doesn’t.

  3. Steph Says:

    I love all of the covers you highlighted. For a long time I have been coveting the Penguin Deluxe Modern Classics (I love the cartoon & comic covers), but I try to curtail excessive spending by limiting my purchases to the used bookstore. So far I’ve managed to collect Cold Comfort Farm, Candide, Dracula, The New York Trilogy, and Jane Eyre… but I know there are so many more out there! I think I like the playful nature of the covers, the fact they don’t take these “serious” books too seriously.

    I really like the Toledo covers as well, though I hadn’t seen them before, so thanks for posting those! Mmmmm…. book porn…. ;)