Sunday, 30 November 2008

English Journeys

Once or twice a year Penguin put out a set of 20 small books culled from their classics backlist. Sometimes it's a set of Great Ideas, or else Great Loves or Great Journeys. In April next year they're doing the same thing with English Journeys. Most of the books do not yet have covers, and none of the books is yet listed in the Penguin catalogue, but here are the few covers I've managed to scrounge.





Plus a couple of unfinalised ones...



I'm not sure of the designer/illustrator behind these yet. On past form I'd guess at David Pearson, but time will tell.

CORRECTION: Coralie Bickford-Smith has kindly pointed out that these are, in fact, the work of Nathan Burton. Nice one!

11 comments:

Ian Brian Shimkoviak said...

Yeah, it feels like a David Pearson art direction job. Very nice and pleasing to look at.

JRSM said...

I'm very keen to see all 20 covers: those I've seen do such a nice job using a limited, fairly muted palette.

John Self said...

Lovely, as always with Penguin (have you seen the Coralie Bickford-Smith Arabian Nights, JRSM? At the bottom of this blog entry.)

Through England on a Side-Saddle sounds like a Victoria Wood joke. Will the series also include the book of Alan Partridge's proposed series about going through countries that drive on the left in a snub-nose Morris?

Nice scoop with these covers, JRSM.

JRSM said...

Thanks, Mr Self: I've seen and lusted after that Arabian Nights, but have not yet posted about it because I'm saving it for an interview with Ms Bickford-Smith I've got lined up for January.

John Self said...

Ooh, swoon, gosh, very exciting! I shall look forward to that.

(The interview with her on the Penguin blog actually made me want to buy the new hardback Crime and Punishment and the Arabian Nights, even though I know I'll never read them. Oh and browsing those led me to the Bill Amberg leather bound classics on the Book Depository website, which I also decided I need one or two of. Wish me luck as I fight the purchasing urge. I'm only trying to help the economy, Mrs Self, honest!)

coralie said...

These English Journeys are in fact the work of Nathan Burton. (Glad you like Arabian Nights)

John Self said...

Nathan Burton: even better! (Er, not sure that came out right...) For some reason I had him down as a Bloomsbury in-house man.

I was in Waterstone's today and saw a nice little CB-Smith-designed volume, Three Tales from the Arabian Nights, issued last week by Penguin Classics as, I suppose, a taster for the triple-decker (same new translation), or an alternative which (a) is more likely actually to be read, and (b) won't cause as much damage to the pocket or the shelf space crunch. It's a pocket-sized jacketless hardback, with a nicely debossed matt cover.

John Self said...

Hm, I have just noticed that the lovely maroon hardback Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, which I bought Mrs Self in the early days of our courtship, was also designed by Ms Bickford-Smith - as were the Penguin Gothic Reds, which I first read of on your blog and which finally filtered through to my local bookshop last week, so I picked up two (the Poe and the M.R. James). Truly she is everywhere at the moment. Even on your blog.

JRSM said...

Thanks for the Nathan Burton info, Coralie: I will amend th epost to say that.

John: You were just raving about Burton but a few days away. Obviously the book gods WANT you to spend all your money. You need the Ambrose Bierce, Wilkie Collins and Elizabeth Gaskell Gothic Reds too, if you don't already have them! And that Fiary Tales is beuatiful: I love the paper cutouts of Andersen's inside as well. Lovely lovely stuff.

John Self said...

Mwahahaha etc - I have now smuggled five of the Gothic Reds into the house, and Mrs Self is none of the wiser because they look so purty on colour-coded shelves (see middle of the bottom row here) - incidentally these include the Gaskell and Bierce as suggested by you, but I eschewed the Collins in favour of the William Hope Hodgson, which had a nicer cover imho...

JRSM said...

Wow: colour-coded shelves look really good... but how do you find anything? The Hodgson is good fun, in a hysterical, fever-dream sort of way.