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8 of the Most Beautiful Classic Novel Special Editions

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Every book collector's dream

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We know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but some editions are so gorgeous that it’s hard not to. From gold foiled writing to opulent blocked cloth bounding, here are the most stunning classic novel editions worthy of a special place on your bookshelf.

8 of the Most Beautiful Classic Novel Special Editions

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The Letterpress Othello By William Shakespeare

One of Shakespeare’s most popular tragedies of love, jealousy and betrayal told through the life of the honourable General Othello as he falls for the beautiful Desdemona. The Letterpress Othello is an impressive addition for any library collection – hand-set on luxurious mould-made paper, bound in gorgeous goatskin leather and blocked in gold with plush hand-marbled sides. As part of The Folio Society’ Letterpress Shakespeare limited edition series, there are only 3,750 hand-numbered copies available. £295, foliosociety.com

Middlemarch by George Eliot

George Eliot’s Middlemarch is considered to be one of the greatest English novels, quoted by Virginia Woolf as ‘one of the few English novels written for grown-up people’. Exploring the themes of social change and human nature, the novel tells a captivating tale of the connected lives between the inhabitants of a small local town in a fast-changing world. With gorgeous colour illustrations by Pierre Mornet, this special edition of the literary classic is set in Caslon and bound in opulent blocked cloth – the perfect edition. £79.95, foliosociety.com

war and peace

War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Set in 1812 during the Napoleon invasion of Russia, War and Peace focuses on the lives of three main characters impacted by the chaos of war – the idealistic Pieree Bezukhov, the beautiful Natasha Rostov and the brave Prince Andrei Bolkonsky. A classic novel telling the tales of war, death and love available in Barnes & Noble’s Leatherbound Classic Collection wrapped in a wonderful gold and blue hardback. £30, waterstones.com

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

One of Brontë’s most popular novels portrays the inner life of a woman during the Victorian era as orphan Jane Eyre begins working as a governess at Thornfield Hall. When she falls for her employee Edward Rochester, Eyre uncovers a dark secret that could change her future forever. The Chiltern edition of Brontë’s classic novel is beautifully bound, with detailed covers, gorgeous gold edges and stitched binding, making the perfect special gift. £16, whsmith.co.uk

pride & prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice, follows the courtship of Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy with one of the most powerful love stories of all time (with Austen’s sharp wit and irony, of course). The classic novel is part of Penguin’s gorgeous hardback Clothbound Classics series, bound in colourful cloth with lavish foil entwined into the design. Designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, this collectible edition is one for the bookshelf. £14.99, waterstones.com

little women

Little Women by Louisa-May Alcott

This timeless classic novel by Louisa-May Alcott combines marriage, love and the struggle of being a woman in 19th century England through the intertwined lives of the lovable March sisters. The lavish Folio edition features nine captivating illustrations by American artist Rebecca Green with elegant gold-blocked binding. £49.95, foliosociety.com

The-Great-Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby explores the life of Jay Gatsby, infamous for throwing glittering parties at his incredible mansion – yet his appearance remains a mystery. Seemingly young, rich and handsome, Gatsby longs for the one thing he cannot have as his perfect world soon starts to unravel. This sumptuous hardback edition marks the 70th anniversary of Fitzgerald’s death, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. Similar to Gatsby’s glamourous lifestyle, the novel’s dust jacket is extravagantly designed with gold metallic foil with stunning matching bookmarks connected to the inside flap – every book collector’s dream.  £14.99, foyles.co.uk

huckleberry-finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

A 13-year-old boy named Huck searches for some fun-filled adventure on the idyllic shores of the Mississippi River as he canoes down the river to escape his father’s drunken kidnapping. While travelling, Huck befriends a slave named Jim as the two boys search for their freedom. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is available in a first edition detailed laser-cut jacket designed by Kate Armstrong, with gold foil stamping on the front cover, smyth-sewn bindings, and a bonus laser-matching bookmark. £11.89, bookdepository.com

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