Elegant and classy, I thought. So I began to look for more. Here are some more of the covers in the same series, which I find so beautiful that when I see them in the bookstore that I am tempted to buy them (despite the fact that I have multiple copies of some of these books, like Pride and Prejudice). I particularly like the Jane Austen covers, especially Persuasion.
I'm no expert on art or graphics or whatnot, but I think they're simply stunning. But when I was searching the internet, here's what I kept finding:
I'm not sure but it looks like Vintage has abandoned the beautiful and classy covers for something more cartoony. In fact, these covers look suspiciously like they're meant to attract lovers of chick-lit. Seriously, does the world NEED more book covers with stylized illustrations of young women and their fashion accessories??
And after my recent review of Barbara Pym's Excellent Women I found these new paperback British editions of her books, which confirms my suspicions:
Apparently, Barbara Pym's works are now 1950s chick-lit, either about housewives having trouble with their husbands or career girls looking for husbands. Or perhaps this is a nod to the popularity of Mad Men, one of my favorite television shows -- the woman in the top cover reminds me of Betty Draper and the girl in the bottom looks just like Peggy Olson! These are from Virago Books, once known for their eye-catching and distinctive green covers with lovely artwork. I find this trend so disappointing. It's good literature, must publishers dress it up like lousy chick? I admit I'm a bit of a book snob, but why do I get the feeling they're trying to dumb these books down to attract more readers? Or am I just reading too much into this?