Judge the book cover: Great Expectations

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I’m not sure how I’ve gone this long without reading Great Expectations. I’m a huge Charles Dickens fan and Great Expectations is probably one of his most-loved and widely-known books. So I thought now was as good a time as any to read this classic novel by one of my all-time-favourite authors.

I have a ratty old edition of Great Expectations but I’m thinking of buying a new one for my collection. Just because. Unfortunately the decision of which edition to buy will not be an easy one to make because, as with most classic literature, there are so many amazing editions to choose from. I’m leaning towards the Vintage Classics editions (the last image in this post), designed by Megan Wilson, because I’m completely in love with the illustrations by Peter de Sève. I have the Vintage Classics edition of A Christmas Carol that he did and I love it. If you’re not familiar with Peter de Sève, he is an incredible artist who is mostly known for his work in the New Yorker. He’s also worked on the animation for films such as Ice Age, Finding Nemo, and Arthur Christmas. This is what Megan Wilson had to say about working on the Dickens covers with him:

“As Dickens is a verbal caricaturist fascinated with London ‘types,’ my research led me to caricaturists of the Victorian and Georgian eras, when caricature was at its most popular. The most outstanding example was a British artist called Thomas Rowlandson, who obviously had a lot of fun conveying characters of all types and backgrounds. I turned to Peter de Sève, a well-known New Yorker illustrator who seems to have equal fun with faces and types. It turns out that Thomas Rowlandson was one of his great influences, and he was delighted to take on the project.”

(Source: USA Today)

In the end, it doesn’t really matter which edition I choose. I enjoy the search so much that it doesn’t really matter what the end result is. And when the book is as good as Great Expectations, you can have several editions on your bookshelf and no one would really question why. And if they do then you shouldn’t really hang out with them anyway.

great expectations book cover Penguin drop caps


Great Expectations Charles Dickens Vintage Classics

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