Monday, November 16, 2009

Coralie Bickford-Smith's Hardback Classics series for Penguin UK

This week we'll take a look at another Penguin classics series. This one seems to be officially called the "Clothbound Classics"; the series collects ten 19th century novels, all bound in beautifully patterned cloth. The titles included are:

Madame Bovary
Great Expectations
Wuthering Heights
Sense and Sensibility
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Pride and Prejudice
Crime and Punishment
Jane Eyre
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Would you believe these were designed by the same artist who is responsible for "Ten Tales of the Supernatural" set that Penguin did last year, which was also the topic of my first blog post here? I'm stunned by Coralie Bickford-Smith's skill and versatility; she's able to adapt so keenly to her task at hand, whether its adventure novels or elegant Victorian ficiton. Another thing that I keep coming back to is the sequencing of the books and colors. The spine colors look so well against their neighbors that I can't imagine seeing this set in any other order.

If you liked these, take a look here: her site is finally live! And, warning, unless you want to max out your Christmas list this year stay away from the "clothbound series 2" link. Be still, my heart!


  1. Where can the Bickford-Smith edition of Crime and Punishment be purchased in the United States?

  2. Hi Susan--not sure exactly where to find the Crime and Punishment in the US... but here's a tip: Most of these UK editions are also available to Canadian buyers and are in stock at places like I got a handful of these books from a place called "chapters--indigo" (

    Good luck, and thanks for reading! More posts to come.

  3. There are copies of Crime and Punishment and Madame Bovary on Ebay now if you can't find them elsewhere. Definitely worth it to complete the collection!

  4. Hi there! Question from an OCD collection completionist- is there any price for which you would consider selling your copy of Madame bovary? Please think it over, and if you come up with a price please email me at I know this is a little random, but give it some thought!
    Thanks so much :)

  5. Those look really nice, except I'm not crazy about their being numbered...

  6. Would you ever be willing to sell crime and punishment and Madame bovary?

    My father bought me the set (with the exception of these two books) before he passed and I would like to finish the collection in his honor.

    Could you email me at:

    Thank you!