Gilded volumes


The cover of an 1894 edition of Jane Austen’s novel designed by Hugh Thomson (1860–1920). The so-called “Peacock Edition” is illustrated throughout and a copy can be yours for £845 should you be so inclined. Or you can go to the Internet Archive and download the same edition for free. Thomson’s lavish cover design is absolutely right for the 1890s and as such would have suited Oscar Wilde far more than Jane Austen. AbeBooks drew my attention to this with a feature on rare books with gilded covers where, needless to say, all the titles are very expensive. A lot more reasonable but just as lavish is I Wonder by Marian Bantjes, the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys the art of book design.

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The book covers archive

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I Wonder by Marian Bantjes