This year I am taking part in a Classics Challenge hosted by Katherine of November’s Autumn. The goal is to read at least seven classics in 2012 and every month Katherine will be posting a prompt to help us discuss the book we are reading. I missed answering last month’s question, on the subject of settings, but might go back and answer that one at a later date. This month the focus is on book covers.
The classic novel I’m currently reading is Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, which I’m really enjoying and finding easier to read than I had expected. Now that I’m no longer intimidated by him I’m sure I’ll be reading more of his work in the future. I’ll be posting my thoughts on Ivanhoe after I’ve finished the book.
I’m reading this novel as a free ebook and it doesn’t actually have a cover image, so instead I’m going to look at the covers of a few different editions of Ivanhoe.
This is the cover of the Penguin Classics edition. The cover image shows ‘detail from a 15th century French illuminated manuscript showing a tournament‘.
And here is the cover of the Oxford World’s Classics edition. The cover illustration is ‘Knight Enters the Lists at the Eglinton Tournament, of Archibald William Montgomery (13th Earl of Eglinton) by Edward Henry Corbauld (1815-1905)‘.
The third image I want to include here is the cover of the Wordsworth Classics edition. As you can see, this one is very different to the other two and shows ‘A medieval knight with his young lover (1898) by P. Clarke‘.
It’s interesting that only one of these three publishers has chosen to focus on the romantic aspect of the novel – if you picked up one of the other two without knowing anything about the story you would never guess there was any romance involved.
What do you think? Which of these covers would make you more likely to read the book?