Cosy up with the classics...
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Covetable new editions of old classics
2020 feels like the perfect time to fall in love (or, perhaps, fall back in love) with the classics. Go to the cinema or switch on the TV this month and you’ll see a range of new adaptations of 19th century favourites – from Little Women to David Copperfield – set to delight and entertain modern audiences.
From Austen to Dickens, the books that inspired these on-screen versions would have had the same effect on their original readers. That they are still relevant, with universal truths that have stood the test of time, is what makes them classics.
To celebrate this enduring appeal, publishers work hard to keep the books looking fresh, prompting some truly eye-catching new editions, in all formats and sizes. Whether they’re are old favourites or you’re coming to them for the first time, these beautiful books will make you want to cosy up with a classic.
Louisa May Alcott
HarperCollins Seasons edition
Originally published in 1868 in two volumes (Little Women and Good Wives), Alcott's semi-autobiographical novel follows the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy—as they turn from girls to women against the backdrop of the American Civil War. The recent film adaptation, already nominated for glittering screen awards, has inspired a fresh wave of fans of the book and prompted publication of some extra-special new editions. This hardback stands out as one of a limited print run, overlaid with a laser-cut jacket with a textured, dusky pink cover underneath. A perfect gift for someone to read and re-read ad infinitum!
Folio Society edition
JARROLD PRICE £29.95
The new film version of Dickens' classic coming-of-age novel promises to be full of colour and energy. Excitingly for Norfolk, it was filmed largely in the historic quarter of Kings Lynn, with some residents appearing as movie extras (maybe some of you are in it?)! This has already sparked much new interest in the book, first published in 1850 under its full title, The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account). And I love this classy gift edition from The Folio Society, renowned for their unique, high quality hardbacks. Quarterbound with foil inlay, in a blue slipcase with illustrations inside, this is a fine edition of an undisputed classic.
Barnes and Noble edition
One of my all time favourites, the tale of Transylvania's most infamous Count has been subject to endless reinterpretation and reinvention, most recently for a chilling BBC TV series. My paperback copy of Stoker's classic is battered and creased so I have been coveting the far more sturdy and striking Barnes and Noble edition. These collectible editions are hugely popular here at Jarrold, sturdy but attractively produced, with bright, leatherbound covers. They look lovely on the shelf but are also great for students with introductions, additional endnotes and biographical author information too.
Chiltern Classics edition
This is a perfect combination: a stunningly crafted edition of an endlessly popular classic. Chiltern classics are a relatively new range, all small-sized hardbacks with sparkling gilt inlays and spines and creamy paper. Chiltern only publish selected titles, but this includes the whole Austen oeuvre, and with a new film of Emma in cinemas from Valentine's day, this edition is sure to be popular. I would definitely recommended this as the ideal version to read or re-read Austen's comedy of manners about genteel Georgian-Regency society, with its loveable, eponymous heroine.
Call of the Wild and White Fang
Macmillan Collector's Library edition
A more portable but nonetheless beautiful range of classics is the Macmillan Collector's Library, with recognisable duck egg blue covers and gold gilt-edged pages. This edition combines two classics in one, the first of which has been adapted for a new film starring Harrison Ford. It's the emotive story of Buck, a domestic dog who is kidnapped from his home in California and forced to pull sleds in the wild Arctic wasteland - the film is bound to be a tearjerker! Here it's paired with White Fang, a classic I have yet to read: that of a part-wolf, part-dog, who endures the wilderness before being tamed by an American and taken to live in California.
The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett, illustrated by Inga Moore
Walker Books edition
An enchanting classic for all ages, I'm recommending this beautifully illustrated edition for younger readers. Not a new version but a favourite of ours in the book department and sure to be popular when the new film of The Secret Garden is released later this year. A4 sized with the unabridged text and captivating illustrations this is perfect for reading together, stepping into world of Misselthwaite Manor, where spoilt little Mary Lennox meets her cousin Colin. Along with local boy Dickon, the children bring back to life a mysterious hidden garden and learn the truth behind it - a wonderful adventure.
Prices and availability checked Thursday 23 January 2020