Anyhow, there's quite a few choices available. First, here's the edition I'm currently reading:
It doesn't tell us much about the story, but the pile of coins is intriguing -- it's about greed and inheritance, so it does tie in nicely with the book's themes. I know a lot of people swear by Penguins but I'm very fond of Modern Library. The print isn't too tiny and the pages are really nice and smooth, plus they're not enormously fat. The endnotes are usually good too. I bought my copy at Borders a couple of years ago, before they went belly-up.
And here's the always-reliable Penguin classic edition:
The book starts out with a Thames boatman finding a body. The moonlight and the eerie purple light make me think there's something creepy going on here, but doesn't give away too much. Nice.
Lately I've been reading more Oxford World's Classics. Their Zola editions are especially good, but I haven't read any of their Dickens editions. Here's their edition of OMF:
It doesn't really tell me a lot -- I assume she's the standard Dickens ingenue, angelic, one-dimensional, and boring, though she does look a little worried. She's pretty well dressed, so maybe she's in love with the financially struggling hero (I'm just assuming since I haven't discovered who the hero is yet, but the ingenue is nearly always in love with a guy who's having money problems.)
But this one by Wordsworth Classics is worse:
Who is this girl? Is she the mutual friend of the title? And what is she wearing? Pretty sexy for a Victorian heroine with the bare shoulders -- doesn't strike me as the least bit accurate. And the grey background is weird. I've read a few Wordsworth Classics, they're not my favorite.
But finally, here's something much nicer by Vintage:
Vintage has come out with some really nice book covers for classics the last few years. I especially like their editions of books by Elizabeth Gaskell. This doesn't really give us much about the story but it's a really nice photo. If I saw this in the store I would definitely pick it up and read the back cover, but sadly, that's unlikely since there's only one major bookstore in my town these days, and Our Mutual Friend is too obscure for them to carry on the shelves without a special order. If I wanted this edition I'd have to order it online. Of course, if I was shopping online, I might buy this copy just because the cover is so nice. I don't think Vintage has endnotes or any introductions, however. But if I was purchasing solely because of the cover image, this might be the winner.
Any other great covers I've missed? What's your favorite classic book cover? Not just Dickens, but any classic?