I am always on the search for old paperbacks of Jane Austen’s works, usually for the introductions by various scholars, but very often for the cover art, always the tell-tale sign of the time of publication. This is one of my favorites, along with the book synopsis inside the front cover – with such a cover and description, one wonders if this is Jane Austen’s Persuasion at all!
Are we in a time-warp here? – whatever is the Captain wearing? and can this Sophia Loren-look-alike really be Anne Elliot?! One is afraid to open the book! but aah!, all is ok – we still find Sir Walter Elliot immersed in his Baronetage on page one … and the note of Mary’s marriage to Charles Musgrove is still there, taking place on December 16, 1810 [anyone ever wonder why Jane Austen had the oft-suffering Mary marry on her birthday?!] It is all there, unabridged, thankfully untouched by 1960s sensibilities…
To go along with this cover, here is the publisher’s blurb:
A WOUNDED LOVE…
Captain Wentworth had no fortune. He had been lucky in his profession, but spending freely what had come freely, had realized nothing. But he was confident he would soon be rich. That he would soon have a ship and soon be on a station that would lead to everything he wanted. He had always been lucky.
Such confidence had been enough for Anne; but Lady Russell saw it differently. In his sanguine temper and fearlessness of mind, she saw but an aggravation of the evil. He was brilliant, he was headstrong. Lady Russell had little taste for wit. She deprecated the connection in every light.
Thus, eight years before, Anne’s heart had been broken.
And now Captain Wentworth had returned.
Persuasion, by Jane Austen
Magnum Easy Eye Books / Lancer Books, 1968
Cover illustration by Julio Freire
On a side note, completely unrelated to Jane Austen – Freire did a number of book illustrations, but here is one to share – the BOMC edition of Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor, a book banned in 14 states upon its publication in 1944 – I don’t think I knew that when I read it in 1972, pregnant with my first-born – I actually gave my daughter “Amber” as a middle name…! – but this a topic far afield of the 1968 cover art for Persuasion … though interesting to me it may well be.
Your thoughts? and what are some of your favorite vintage covers on Austen’s works?
[The Forever Amber cover from CheekyChicago.com ]