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The Incomplete Assorted Jane Austen Collection

Friday, 21 October 2016


There are so many Austen collections to choose from. And, while most people out there seem to pick one edition and run with it, I decided that I simply could not decide. Over the past few years, I have been picking up various individual Austens. I haven't got them all yet, and I've still only read two, and so the result is the following: The Incomplete Assorted Jane Austen Collection. 

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Pride and Prejudice

Having just re-read (or re-listened to - audiobook review can be found here) Pride and Prejudice a few weeks ago, my love for it is fresh in my mind. Although, due to frequent viewings of Joe Wright's adaptation, my love for Pride and Prejudice is really never that far from me.



This is one of the Penguin English Library editions - which I now have a number of. Unfortunately, I think this is the only one I own with the original matte texture. It says a lot about me that I'm genuinely upset that they switched to a more basic cover material. 

I actually love these editions so much that I sometimes wish I went for an un-assorted and complete Austen Penguin English Library collection. However, I do have two beautiful Charlotte Brontë's, and I'm currently re-reading a very torn-up and highlighted copy of Wuthering Heights that is just begging to be replaced - so maybe I should start building a Brontë Penguin English Library collection?

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Emma

I studied Emma very briefly in secondary school. I really enjoyed it - it's such a fun story, and Emma herself is a fantastic protagonist. She's almost an antihero - or, at least, she begins that way. 

This is from the Penguin Threads collection, which is quite small, and as such, Emma is their only Austen, so I'm very glad I went with this edition. The Penguin Threads books are gorgeous. The hand-stitched effect really makes them stand out (in this case, literally - the design is embossed!).



Although it's been a few years since I read Emma, I have watched Clueless many times since then, so that definitely validates my love for its story. I also remember really enjoying the slightly more true-to-text BBC miniseries adaptation, as well as the youtube webshow Emma Approved - which is adorable (I distinctly recall a lot of swooning while watching that one). 

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Sense and Sensibility

I found this copy of Sense and Sensibility on sale for only a few euro in my favourite bookshop in Dublin, Hodges Figgis. I love this cover so much - it's from the Splinter Classic Lines series, all designed by Sarah Singh, a fashion illustrator. The fashion element of her artwork really comes through in these covers. Also, I can never resist a blotchy watercolour.



I really want to read Sense and Sensibility soon because I'm itching to watch the highly acclaimed Ang Lee adaptation. Watching the film first would be akin to blasphemy, as all us book lovers know, so I really should get started on reading. 

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Northanger Abbey

This was on my reading list for a class on Romanticism way back in first year, and naughty me never ended up reading it. In fairness, I wanted to, but my tutorial group wasn't covering it, so it just simply didn't happen. 

The Vintage Classics Austen series are all beautifully designed by Leanne Shapton. Unfortunately, this is the most boring cover of the series, some of the other covers are very colourful and bright - but they all share this lovely, slightly messy paint-like style. However, this book isn't totally monochromatic - the endpapers correspond to some of the other, more colourful, book covers.


Roxy's favourite.
I'm really looking forward to reading Northanger Abbey one day. All I know about it is that it's set in Bath and that it parodies the gothic novels of the time - and that's enough for me to know that I'll probably really enjoy it. 

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Persuasion

The latest addition to my collection. I'm always on the lookout for beautiful Austens, and while there are certainly no shortage of editions, it can be difficult to find pretty covers for the more "obscure" Austens, like Persuasion - especially when one of my requirements is that it must not belong to the same edition family as any other.



This lovely edition of Persuasion actually has very unique origins. Unlike the previous books, this edition was not produced by a publishing house as such, but seems to have come from an independent digital illustrator, M. C. Frank, as part of a series called 'Book Candy Classics'. It also comes with inner illustrations by Charles Edmund Brock, a nineteenth century illustrator of some of the later Austen editions.

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