Saturday, July 20, 2013

Shelf Candy Saturday #77: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1894 Peacock Edition)

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This weekly feature
showcases beautiful book covers,
and provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
just click HERE.

This is my choice for this week!

Hardcover, 476 pages (?)
George Allen, Peacock Edition
First Edition, 1894
Classics, Romance
(Photo courtesy Ebay seller carolan5548.)

Why do I love this cover?

I found this rare treasure on Ebay, but unfortunately, I am unable to buy it, since the price is $995.00!!   The seller is Monte Cristo Rare Books, and this particular book is listed HERE.  There's another listing for the same book, which can be found HERE.  Alas, this one is no more affordable than the's an auction listing, and the starting bid was at $327.00!!  It has since gone up to $328.48....  (When visiting the links at the word "HERE", please bear in mind that they're temporary -- when the listing period ends, or someone buys the item, the listing is taken down.  The Monte Cristo link does remain, since it's for the store itself.)

That cover is something unique, totally precious!  It appears to be hand-tooled leather, although neither of the two listings above mentions that.  The design, by Hugh Thomson (see links below), shows the obvious influence of the Art Nouveau style, which happens to be one of my favorite ones!  The design is just luscious.    I love the swirling peacock feathers, the bird itself, perched on a vase in the lower left-hand side, the beautiful, graceful lettering....  If only I had the money....

Here's a full view of the cover:

The book is also illustrated throughout, and the illustrations are beautiful, as well.  See the samples below.

The title page does show some foxing,
but is still exquisite!

These pages are tanned due to
the book's age, but again,
the illustrations are incredible!

(All photos except the first, courtesy
Thanks to both sellers!)

The highly talented artist who created all this beauty was the Irish book illustrator Hugh Thomson, who was born at Coleraine, near Londonderry.  His pen-and-ink illustrations for classics by authors such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and J.M. Barrie are what he's most famous for. 

Hugh Thomson
June 1, 1860 - May 7, 1920

Hugh Thomson Online

(This site provides more information
about the Peacock Edition.)

(Click on the thumbnails to see
the larger images.)

What do you think of my choice
for this week?
I would greatly appreciate
your comments!


  1. This is pretty gorgeous!! It reminds me of this shirt:

    Oh, and this one:

    Hope you enjoy :)

    1. Hi, Katelynn!

      I'm glad you love this cover, too! If only I could buy this book....but I can't afford either one of the two I've seen on Ebay. So I can only enjoy it from afar, alas!!

      I'll go check out those links right away! I'll probably be able to afford the t-shirts!

      Thanks for the links, and for such a nice comment!! : )

    2. I've already checked out both links. The shirt pictured in the first one shows an exact reproduction of the image on this cover! I WANT that shirt!! And it's a heck of a LOT more affordable than this book; it's only #42.00! (Now, I would normally consider that amount to be a little pricey for a book, but, compared to this Peacock Edition, it's practically a

      Thanks again!! : )

  2. That is an impressive book with impressive illustrations. Too bad that like people, exquisite books age as they do. When I see something like this I always wonder, is there a perfect or near perfect copy out there? Dis someone long ago have the foresight to preserve a copy in a better way? Is it even possible for a book like this to be better preserved?

    1. Hey, Brian!

      Yes, it's very sad indeed that such books are not better preserved. But I'm sure there must be copies in better condition SOMEWHERE. Perhaps they're inside a glass case in some millionaire's mansion....who knows?

      I sure wish I could add this copy to my collection, but of course, I can't....I have to content myself with posting it on my blog....

      Thanks for the visit and the comment!! : )

  3. This is one of my favorite editions of Pride and Prejudice as well but unfortunately it's too expensive to buy. I bought my friend a tote bag that had the book's cover as the bag's design. It was very pretty.

    1. Hi, Vonnie!

      Yes, unfortunately, I have to content myself with merely posting the picture of this gorgeous book here on my blog....

      Katelynn included a link, in her comment above, that shows a picture of a long-sleeved top with this cover image on it. I've got to get it!! And now you're telling me about a book bag with this image printed on it!! I'm coming over to your blog to ask you where I can get it!!

      Thanks for the great comment!! : )

    2. Here's the link for the tote bag:

      Amazon also sales the long sleeve but it's too expensive for me. They also have the short sleeve for half the price:


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