Professor Janine Barchas has an article in this weekend’s New York Times on covers for Pride and Prejudice over the past 200 years:
Let’s just be honest about our superficiality. Even when it comes to the high-minded business of literature, people do judge books by their covers. Perhaps that’s why Amazon produces glossy mock “covers” for its disembodied e-books, to be inspected and decided upon alongside the traditional print offerings.
Book covers may be especially important when it comes to the classics. After all, many of us have a general sense of, if not a thorough familiarity with, the contents within. Perhaps more than anything else, these covers show what matters to prospective buyers. Two centuries of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” are particularly revealing about the novel’s broad and sustained popular reach….
– the article links to a slide-show of twelve covers here – this will be in the print edition on Sunday.