Thursday, 6 February 2014

Awful book covers: Wuthering Heights

Well, after my previous post, I couldn't resist doing my own hunt for dreadful covers - and Wuthering Heights seemed like the sort of book which would oblige.  There are actually a lot of great covers out there for it (I really like the modern, slightly dark ones I saw) but there were also, of course, some awful ones.  With all inspiration due to Bizarre Victoria (and to Caustic Cover Critic), here are the ones I found...

Wuthering Heights: the Edvard Munch edition

Wuthering Heights: the Gone With the Wind edition

Wuthering Heights:
the 'it's raining and all I had was my bedsheet' edition

Wuthering Heights: the ginger edition

Wuthering Heights:
the Little House on the Prarie edition

Wuthering Heights: the Isabella Blow edition

Wuthering Heights:
the 'which house IS that?' edition

Wuthering Heights: the Rosie & Jim edition

Wuthering Heights:
the 'here are two images I found, right, LUNCHTIME' edition
Wuthering Heights: the 90210 edition
Why not pick your own Victorian novel and give it a whirl?!

50 comments:

  1. Oh dear, those are appalling! The last one is a right stinker! Why do they do it? I have a Penguin edition of this with no figures, just a dramatic landscape painting with a stormy blue sky, and I think it looks really good and works.

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    1. Plain is so often better, isn't it Lori!

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  2. I cannot believe that last one! All so vile.

    I noticed Émile Zola has suffered more than his fair share of shocking covers as well - I put them on my Tumblr ages ago, but if you want to see some horrors, here they are :)

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    1. Thanks for the link to them! Zola is an author I've yet to read, but I will bear some of these covers in mind when I do (!)

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    2. Zola's wonderful, I hope you get a chance to read some of the Rougon Macquart series (there are 20, but don't let them scare you off, as they easily stand alone.) They are full of wonderfully fascinating train wrecks. Also, one of his earlier novels, Therese Raquin, was recently adapted into a film called In Secret starring Jessica Lange. I'm looking forward to it!

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  3. Excellent! I actually quite like them all...

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  4. In the Classics Illustrated edition, Cathy appears to be actually *wearing* the moor! And I can't help thinking that anyone picking up the "Rosie and Jim" edition is going to be seriously traumatised when she starts banging on the window.

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    1. That's true! Maybe she got chilly while wandering the wily, windy moors. And I do wonder how Bowdlerised that edition of WH is going to be - you're so right that they're in for a shock!

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  5. You are too funny. I could probably find some awful covers of my favorites but I don't think my captions would be nearly as good. Challenge accepted!!

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    1. Thanks so much Karen! I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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    2. I couldn't resist, I did House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Here's the link: //karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/2014/02/awful-book-covers-house-of-mirth.html

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  6. 'the Isabella Blow edition' - still laughing... Gawd, aren't they awful?!

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    1. If you haven't yet been to see the real Isabella Blow exhibition at Somerset House can I very, very strongly recommend it!

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    2. I'm very pleased that people recognised the reference! (I do wonder if anybody out there got ALL the references in this... but if anyone did, Vicki, I'd think you'd be that person!)

      Peter - thanks so much for mentioning that, I think I'll try to get to that if I'm in London whilst it's open.

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    3. I think the Isabella Blow cover is my favourite too... AND it looks as if she's fighting off an attack by a giant caterpillar. But Rosie and Jim are delightful. WH is just the book to press into the hands of an six-year-old. Truly, Simon, you are a genius for finding these but your captions make it.

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  7. These are just great with the last one taking the cake. Thanks. now off to see the Jane Eyre ones.

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    1. The mind boggles as to what the tv film could have been like!

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  8. Thank you for these (and links). I think this confirms my own view that covers are by far the least important part of a book! I care about cover design, but good doesn't get me to go for a book nor bad put me off. Now if I could only get publishers to leave off the puffery from the back cover I'd be a happy cat!

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    1. I am still so drawn to a beautiful cover - which is silly, since it will spend its life jammed between other books - but do enough by now not to buy a book based on that alone!

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  9. These are hilarious - 'Help, Heathcliff, I am beset by a giant hairy green centipede!' maybe one from outer space... My favourite Wuthering Heights doesn't really have a cover - it's Rawhide's audio version, done for the CBC in 1955. Best described at http://www.folkways.si.edu/TrackDetails.aspx?itemid=6909 , also available to listen on Spotify and so on.

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    1. I think the distance between the best and worst cover designers must be one of the widest chasms in the publishing industry!

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  10. Oh, I can't decide which is my favorite - these are all so awful! But your captions are the best part - I'm still giggling over "The 90210 version."

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  11. Heck! Have any of the cover designers actually *read* the book (or indeed *any* book?!?!?!)

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    1. Ha! A very good question! But I do wonder how often designers read the book - I read an interview with one, forget who, who said he read each book three times. Impressive if true!

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  12. I like the Mango classics version so much... Ah, it's such a giggly, joyful, homely romp of an afternoon entertainment, this novel is, up there with Five Children and It and Nancy Drewe...

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    1. Haha! Yes... someone is in for a bit of a shock...

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  13. Hilarious! Love the Gone With the Wind edition...you do have a way with titling things. :)

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    1. Thanks Susan! I did have a lot of fun writing this post...

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  14. This post made me laugh :) It just goes to show doesn't it, that for every beautiful book cover, there's some...not so great ones!

    Gemma

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    1. And the 70s was especially blessed with the, erm, not so great ones!

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  15. Priceless! Thanks for the laugh - it was perfectly timed. Swamped in paperwork of triple-check minutiae sort right now; a quick escape to visit a few of my favourite bloggers brought me round - as always! - to here. But I must say I rather like the bed sheet cover - rather Burnes-Jonesy, don't you think? I have a lot of fun doing this sort of thing on occasion - Agatha Christie is particularly grand for this as there are so many editions.

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    1. I'm very glad that it cheered your day! And agree that Christie has been very, ahem, blessed with imaginative designers. Must do a post of some of those...

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  16. Hey, this is fun! I just ran a google image search on Pride and Prejudice and there are some bad, hilariously bad, and just plain weird covers out there. The Everyman's Library cover was particularly "what the .....?"

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    1. Oo, maybe that will be my next victim!

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  17. This is such a fun idea (I might just pick one to do myself), and I love your comments.

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    1. I loved your assorted Rebeccas, Annabel!

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  18. When it is an old copy, older than 10/20 years there is something I love about bad book covers. But the more recent 'modern' ones - wow, there really are some shockers. The last 3 you've listed are particularly horrendous!

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    1. That's definitely true - the pulp fiction type covers are rather wonderful in their own way. Maybe one day we'll feel the same about those modern ones... but I can't imagine it.

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  19. Oh your captions are HILARIOUS! *wipestearsoflaughterfromeyes What were the publishers thinking????

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    1. Thanks very much Victoria, glad you liked them! It is beyond me that people actually *designed* these things...

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    2. "Thinking", litlove? You give them too much credit.

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  20. The one with the tumbled down house depicts Top Withens, about 4 miles from Haworth where the Bronte sisters grew up. It is often thought of to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights. Ted Hughes wrote about a pilgrimage he and Sylvia Plath made to it in his poem 'Wuthering Heights'.

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    1. Well, there you have it! I always thought of Wuthering Heights having a roof, but... :)

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  21. The scariest part about the Rosie and Jim cover is the phrase "retold by Gill Tavner."

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