Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shelf Candy Saturday #129: Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson


Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful book covers!
It also provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

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

Here's my choice for this week!

Treasure Island
Hardcover, 256 pages
White's Books, Fine Edition
April 1, 2010
Adventure, Classics, Historical Fiction,
Literary Fiction, YA Fiction

Why do I love this cover?

This is not the typical cover for this beloved children's classic, by any means! Usually, the covers for this novel have featured either pirates -- whether generic ones, or Long John Silver himself -- the ships of the period, an island, or perhaps all three. This cover, in contrast, is an abstract composition, one that should really be hanging in a gallery, to boot! Thus, this cover transcends the category of illustration, and enters the domain of fine art.

The image is based on nature, but has been abstracted to the most basic elements of the objects depicted. The clouds, loaded with rain, have become rhythmic ripples shot through with angry, black striations. The restless sea beneath is now a series of undulating patterns that resemble loose skeins of yarn more than waves. I do feel this to be a small 'flaw' in this image, but still, the overall effect is so lovely, I'm willing to overlook it. The push-and-pull tension in the composition, created by all the opposing angles, does convey the feeling of a storm-tossed ocean landscape, after all. Interestingly, however, the waves also remind me of mountain ranges.

I am so glad that the title and author's name have been placed in a black bar at the bottom of the cover! Thus, they don't interrupt the sweeping, rolling rhythms of this composition.

Here's an image of the full cover:


The creator of this visual masterpiece is artist Stanley Donwood, working with the designer David Pearson, who has done the overall design of an entire series of books -- known as "Fine Editions" -- for White's Books, his own UK publishing house. 

These are indeed luscious books for ardent bibliophiles like me to own! Prices vary for the treasure (pun intended) depicted in this post; the copy available at the ipg website listed above is pretty reasonable, while the one for sale at Amazon CA is, surprisingly, even more so.

Donwood (his real name is Dan Rickwood) is most famous for his association with the British band, Radiohead. Since 1994, he has been the creator of all of their album covers and posters. He is also a writer. 

I might very well soon acquire this stunning volume, although I already own a copy of Treasure Island, with an equally gorgeous, if more figuratively inspired, cover. I will also be featuring that cover in a future post!

Online Links

 Stanley Donwood

David Pearson

White's Books


What do you think of 
this week's choice?
Please leave me a comment
and let me know!!


  1. Hey Maria - Kudos to you for continuing to choose such a wide range of interesting book covers.

    I am glad that You posted the image of the full cover I think that it is overall much more aesthetically pleasing as well as effective.

    I really like the yellow portion of the waves though I may not be grasping all that it means.

    1. Hey, Brian!

      Thanks!! My tastes in art are just as eclectic as my tastes in books! Lol.

      I agree that the full cover looks even better. This is a very dynamic composition!

      I like the yellw portion, too, even tbough, in my opinion, it makes the waves look even less like waves.

      Thanks so much for commenting!! : )


THIS IS NOW AN AWARD-FREE, AND TAG-FREE BLOG. Thanks for the compliment, though! : )

As of today, 9/23/18, I have permanently enabled comment moderation, due to a sudden rash of SPAM comments. I appreciate your patience!

Thanks for your thoughts on my posts! I always reply here, as well as comment back on your blog. Have a WONDERFUL day!! :)