It is such a fun, charming, beautiful book. I knew that I would like it (see above), but it is just done so well. Basically, it's what the title says: an overview of different book covers of Jane Austen's classic novels. It begins with the first editions of Sense and Sensibility and goes up through recent editions that you can buy on Amazon right now. Obviously they can't include every single cover that's been released, but it's very thorough.
Jane Austen Cover to Cover is a bit like a coffee table book...you can read it little by little, browsing through, or you can read it all in one sitting (which is pretty much what I did). I liked the way that the covers were organized: first in chronological order, but then other editions were grouped into categories like foreign editions, bind-ups of all of the novels, and movie covers. (It made me smile to see that publishers have been releasing cheesy movie covers for over 70 years now!) The layout of the entire book is really nice...I loved the quotes and informative articles scattered throughout. And the book itself is gorgeous, from the colors used to the sturdy matte pages that have a really good new book smell. :) Just being honest here.
Can you tell that I loved this book? It was so interesting to see all of these interpretations of the same stories, and to realize that even though the stories stayed the same, the covers varied drastically because of the time period, the intended audience, etc. There are all sorts of book covers here: the good (some are gorgeous), the bad, and the ugly. They're all accompanied by interesting commentary, which at times is hilariously snarky. (There have been some weird Austen covers, you guys, and the author doesn't mind poking fun at them.)
This book made me want to reread all of Jane Austen's novels and finally pick up the biography about her that I own. Even though the focus is on the actual covers, I still learned a few new things about one of my favorite authors. I enjoyed the book so much and highly recommend it. I think that any Austen fan will love it, and if that Austen fan also happens to appreciate pretty book covers, then you can't go wrong with this one. :)
*Quirk Books kindly sent me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*