When deciding on which book to cover I knew immediately, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Not only was it the only book on the syllabus I had read prior to this class, but also of all the novels covered in class I related to this one the most. Every time I hear of Pride and Prejudice I think of the simple leather bound, simple, only the title/author/publisher written on it cover. The edition I have of the book I got in England at a discounted bookstore. The first time I even heard of the novel was then as I picked up the simple maroon, cheap looking edition. I brought my worn down copy to class and then seeing how many people brought different covers of the book, there my final project emerged. Why not focus on the one book and how it has changed throughout its existence? So, combining every cover deemed worth of analyzing, and mixing in the film adaptions, the digital projects main thesis was born.
Every cover produced for Pride and Prejudice emphasized the common trends for that era. Some covers succeeded in keeping to the heart of the novel, while others slaughtered the core of the novels existence. To begin, the time the novel was written speaks volumes to the class system held in England at the time. The covers should respect the original theme of the novel and give the girl the proper attire, make the reader wonder why the girl on the front is looking away from the man, or even let the title speak for itself as the original copy did. The first line to any novel may just as well be as important as the cover itself. Pride and Prejudice opens with “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”(Chapter 1). Here it is, the heart of the novel laid out in the first words. Every woman wants to marry into a good life of possible happiness. However, the main protagonist simply could not do that, Elizabeth held so much prejudice against Darcy she must simply not confide in the aim to marry up. The center of the novels success stems from the happily ever after ending, the comical aspects of some characters, and the preconceptions every characters makes.
I love the line Elizabeth spoke “Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure” (chapter 58). The quote not only gears towards the novel plot but the thesis for this project as well. As we read, the storyline grasps us with the simplicity. We look back into the past and remember how the class structure used to be. The covers for the novel changed as history impacted the culture. As the society began to shift, the designs on the covers offered a new way to approach the novel. Even with the film adaptions, the cinematography became much more important as technology has progressed. The first movie released in 1940 was simple compared to the most recent 2005 version. Even the Colin Firth version speaks volume of difference to the Kiera Knightly adaption. How can a book so simple in the plot drive this massive craze to keep renovating the way it is given to the audience? Many people have used the novel as the core structure to their twist on the classic. For example, Stephanie Meyer used Pride and Prejudice as the basis for the novel Twilight. New adaptions of the novel are constantly being written and produced but credit will always be given to the wonderful Jane Austen for the original masterpiece known and Pride and Prejudice.