The Art of Book Covers (1820–1914)

The Public Domain Review   
Founded in 2011, The Public Domain Review is an online journal and
not-for-profit project dedicated to the exploration of curious and
compelling works from the history of art, literature, and ideas.

A Masque of Days Charles Lamb. A Masque of Days. London- Cassell and Co., 1901 — Source. Cover design by Walter CraSuch a delightful surprise to find a new site that offers a magazine which will delight the bibliophile. Shared here are a few samples of the Book Covers that have been displayed on the site. All credits and any explanation needed are given beneath the displayed covers. And very delightful these creations are. Enjoy!
Lord Dunsany. The Book of Wonder. London- William Heinemann, 1912

If you would like to explore further, click on the “online” in the first paragraph above, and go directly to The Public Domain Review.

TheArtOfBkCvsIgnatius Donnelly. Ragnarok- The Age of Fire and Gravel. New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1883Too Curious Edward J. Goodman. Too Curious. London; Guildford- Bentley & Son, 1888Max Wolf. Die Milchstrasse. Leipzig - Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1908Dress and Care of the Feet John Lord Peck. Dress and Care of the Feet. New York- Fowler & Wells, 1871Felix Schloemp. Das unheimliche Buch. Munich- Georg Mueller, 1914Friedrich Christian Accum. A Treatise on Adulteration of Food and Culinary Poisons. London, Longman, 1822Walter Crane. A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden. London- Harper, 1899Montague Browne. Practical Taxidermy. London- “The Bazaar” Office, 1878W. T. Horton. A Book of Images. London- The Unicorn Press, 1898Ten Time One is Ten Frederic Ingham. Ten Time One is Ten. Boston- Roberts Brothers, 1871Evelyn Sharp. Wymps. New York & London- John Lane, 1897Richard Bowdler Sharpe. Sketch-Book of British Birds. London- Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge,1898

Covers & Other Strangers


Book Covers. The key to the within. I do believe that covers sell the book. Well that and good reviews and publicity about it. It’s all of a package. This has been well documented and substantiated.

Then along comes a cover such as the one above. Tantalizing to me, a Recovering Catholic. I am so drawn to the icons of my youth, the passions for my lost Saints. This cover pointed the way to a journey if not a pilgrimage. Naturally it required a lookup on Amazon. (Buying or not from the big A, it offers reviews, book information, and a look inside at the Prose.) Some of the book information—78 pages!—stopped me short. Not something I’m willing to invest in, considering the subject. So there you have it, the package. And no pictures! Covers alone just won’t do. Nice cover, no sale.