Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Capuchin Covers

I have a lot of time for the little publishing firms which spring up every now and then, dedicated to resurrecting long-lost books which deserve better than to be forgotten. One of the newest of these ventures is Capuchin Classics in the UK (more about their background here). The first book of theirs which I have read is Tom Stacey's excellent The Man Who Knew Everything. It's sort of like a right-wing Graham Greene novella (and it's the quality of the writing rather than the politics that I'm commending here).

Stacey is, it seems, the publisher behind Capuchin. A number of other excellent books are in their list. What's interesting is that all of their covers, as far as I can tell, are drawn by Angela Landels, who has a long but not terribly Google-able history as an illustrator, going back decades. The world probably doesn't need yet another edition of Dracula, but I guess including far-from-neglected standards like Dracula or Hound of the Baskervilles helps pay the bills. At least they don't (yet) have the 189,452,988th edition of Pride and Prejudice on their list.

I like the way these covers are reminiscent of the way "classy" paperbacks used to look, like the original illustrated Penguins. Speaking of which, this is the edition of Pamela Hansford Johnson's An Error of Judgement which I own. It's a nasty, gripping book, well worth its rediscovery in this series. This Penguin cover is by Terence Greer.

Angela Landels has worked with Tom Stacey before, illustrating this children's book:

And here is one of her old advertising illustrations.


Ricky Grove said...

These covers look marvelous and you are right they are reminiscent of the older penguin covers. The Penguin modern classics series even has the same color scheme. I'll definitely be looking to order some of their books.

JRSM said...

They're very nicely done, aren't they? They seem to be putting out books in batches of four every few months or so: there's some good stuff in the upcoming releases section of their site.