“Oh! you would rather talk of her person than her mind, would you? Very well; I shall not attempt to deny Emma’s being pretty.”
“Pretty! say beautiful rather. Can you imagine any thing nearer perfect beauty than Emma altogether— face and figure?”
“I do not know what I could imagine, but I confess that I have seldom seen a face or figure more pleasing to me than hers. But I am a partial old friend.” – Emma, Volume I, Chapter V (5)
I recently received a copy of the new 200th Anniversary Penguin Classics edition of Emma, and thought, “Why didn’t they send this to me two years ago!” Because two years ago, I was in the initial stages of putting together Jane Austen Cover to Cover, and I certainly would have loved to include this beautiful cover design by Dadu Shin.
But this is way more than just a pretty cover; this new edition was edited by Juliette Wells of Goucher College (who will be one of the plenary speakers at the 2016 JASNA AGM in Washington, D.C.). From the publisher:
This new edition was prepared with both Austen enthusiasts and first-time readers in mind by Goucher professor and Austen scholar Juliette Wells, and includes an introduction that focuses on the importance of EMMA to Austen’s career and the reception of the novel by its first readers, as well as original contextual essays, a glossary of eighteenth-century usage, maps of Austen’s England, suggestions for further reading, and illustrations from early editions of EMMA (drawn from the Jane Austen Collection at Goucher).
My JASNA book group will be reading Emma together soon, and I’ll be using this lovely new edition to enhance my reading experience, and maybe learn some stuff.
We’re giving away a copy of the book over on AustenBlog. Head over there and leave a comment to enter. (Sorry, this is just for readers in the U.S.)
While I was putting together the books for JAC2C, I noticed how many really lovely editions of Emma were out there (and so many of them from Penguin!). Perhaps the publishers are inspired by the beautiful Miss Woodhouse, Miss Smith, and Miss Fairfax? I thought it would be fun to put together a gallery of some of the really beautiful editions for my Gentle Readers. Enjoy!
Click on any image for a gallery with information about the covers.
Dadu Shin designed the lovely cover illustration for this new Penguin Classics edition of Emma.
I love this cover from the Penguin Threads line. It’s a rendering of an actual stitched piece done in satin stitch, which Jane Austen loved to do and excelled in. The inside of the cover is the back of the stitched piece! As a needleworker myself, I found it impressive.
This watercolor by fashion illustrator Sara Singh is gorgeous in its simplicity.
This edition with a lovely cameo illustration of (one presumes) Miss Woodhouse was published by the Folio Society in 2007.
Kazuko Nomoto did the sketch illustrations for the Penguin Red Classics edition of each of Austen’s novels.
This is a reprint of the Dent Everyman’s edition, with a cover illustration by David Downton, part of a set of Austen’s novels commissioned by the Daily Telegraph. These editions were given away in the UK during ITV’s Jane Austen Season in 2007.
I have a soft spot for this cover, as this was my first Austen, purchased for $2 from a drugstore book rack.