Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Woolf cover designs’

The new cover designs by Angus Hyland for a hardback series of Woolf’s major works inspired numerous comments on the VWoolf Listserv this week.

Stephen Barkway shared this photo of how the series was displayed last month in Foyles bookshop in the Charing Cross Road.

Trouble is, all of them were negative.

The series includes Mrs. DallowayA Room of One’s OwnTo the LighthouseThe Waves, and Orlando and is available on Penguin Books U.K. site for 14 pounds (about $21) each.

The covers are modeled after the textile designs of the Omega Workshop, but subscribers to the list don’t see the resemblance.

Here are some of the comments shared by list members:



I am not a fan either.  Whoever could have used Japanese prints to better effect.  I actually tried to put the cover with book meaningfully.  I failed.  Wouldn’t want them on my shelves.  I even preferred the mono-colored covers shown on the page.  Woolf must be –well I wonder what snarky remark she would have, and rightly so.

Am I alone in finding these new book jacket cover designs  rather – Harsh? Aggressive? Unsympathetic? The article claims that “They’re modeled after the textile designs of the Omega Workshop” but I don’t see much resemblance to what I know of the Omega designs.

no, Roy, you are so NOT alone. Let’s add HIDEOUS, grotesque, repellent, and vile. But that’s just an opinion, of course. Beauty is the eye, etc.

Fancy designing a cover for “A Room of One’s Own” that doesn’t mention that “Three Guineas” is also included!  Could this be a CONSPIRACY — or just a cock-up? Of course, I may be wrong: it may just be printed in a *very* large typeface and so needs to run to 432 pages: http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780141198545,00.html?/A_Room_of_One’s_Own_Virginia_Woolf Aye, as we say in Edinburgh: All fur coat and nae knickers.

I am not a fan either.  The covers seem not only to bear no resemblance to Omega designs, they also seem pretty arbitrary as to the contents of the books.  The choice of covers for the new annotated Harcourts shows how you can choose appropriate (mostly) non-representational art for Woolf covers if you actually have a strong sense of their content.  These look like a series of monoprints someone had lying around which they attached to the books pretty superficially (Orlando is a big O; The Waves has blue on it…) The one used for Room would have been more suggestive for Mrs. Dalloway (the sane and the insane side by side) though thinking of all the colors used in Woolf’s works, that muddy chartreuse is as far from her taste as I can imagine.

What do you think of the new cover designs? Cast your vote below.

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