Saturday, April 18, 2015

Shelf Candy Saturday #146: A Wizard of Earthsea (Original Cover)

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,
simply go HERE.

Here's my choice for this week!

A Wizard of Earthsea 
(Earthsea Cycle #1)
Hardcover, 205 pages
Parnassus Press
November, 1968
Fantasy, Science Fiction,
Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

This is the book's original cover, and I love it just as much as the one I featured last week!

The style  of this image is completely different from the more realistic cover in my previous post. This one is less realistic, and more abstract. The artist is here concerned with the overall design, with the rhythmic, repetitious flow of lines. The lines of the young man's hair are repeated in the landscape behind him -- in the waves of the sea, and what I assume are rolling clouds above. The color scheme is very simple, too. This is a very bold composition.

There's something about this cover that reminds me of Britain's famous Bayeux Tapestry. The image itself has echoes of the type of figures appearing on the tapestry. This is reinforced by the medieval-looking font used for the book's title.

The Battle of Hastings
(Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The brilliant illustrator for this book is credited right on the cover -- Ruth Robbins. She is also mentioned in the Wikipedia article about this novel, which features the 1968 edition.

Robbins is a published author, as well as an illustrator of children's books. Some of her own books include: Baboushka and the Three Kings, which is her own retelling of a Russian fairy tale (ironically, she did not create the illustrations for this book), Literary Feminisms, Subjectivity, and Key Concepts in Literary Theory, which she co-authored with Julian Wolfreys and Kenneth Womack.

Perhaps, if I get lucky, I'll be able to purchase this treasure from either Alibris or Abebooks!    


Online Links for Ruth Robbins


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


  1. It was a good idea posting alternating covers for this book on different weeks Maria. This one is such a contrast to the previous one you posted.

    It is so much simpler. That is not to say that it is not artistic. I actually think that I prefer this one slightly. It is indeed bold, yet understated at the same time.

    If you can obtain a copy of this book it would be a great addition to your collection.

    1. Hey, Brian!

      Yeah, I think so, too! Both covers contain very powerful images, each in their own unique way, so posting them separately has given me the opportunity to analyze each one in depth, Besides, I love them both, and think they are both effective and aesthetically pleasing, again, each in their own unique way..

      This second cover is indeed simpler, bold, and yet, as you say, understated. In fact, it's almost abstract, because of the emphasis on flowing lines as the predominant aspect of the composition.

      Although I do love both covers, I also recognize that this one is especially outstanding, as the image depicted is more unique and original.

      Since this book was published in 1968, I'm wondering if it would be much too expensive for me to acquire.....but I will search for it. I'd LOVE to be able to add it to my collection!

      Thanks so much for the great comment!! : )


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