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Bad Jane Eyre Covers
This isn't strictly a post about the 19th-century, but indulge me. A friend just showed me this rather horrific cover of a 1960s Italian edition of Jane Eyre:
and I realized upon seeing it that there have got to be some DOOZIES out there. On top of the fact that it's never been out of print, it's just one of those wacky stories that's going to prompt some really strange cover art. I'm including film, play and opera posters, as well.

In addition, I know there was recently a contest out there to design a new Jane Eyre cover and I've tried to avoid any non-professional covers. It's somehow funnier to realize that this stupidity made it through a marketing board where 20 people said, "Ah, yes, excellent! Rochester is absolutely a ginger Rhett Butler with a fugly smoking jacket and a pirate eye patch! Jane would absolutely be dressed in lacy, expensive clothing from 40 years in the future! Quickly! TO PRINT!" However, some amateur covers might have accidentally made it in. But for the most part, know that these covers were real.

Jane Eyre: The Story of a NED
(Seriously, the fuck is up with her bonnet? It's some kind of horrific straw baseball cap. She looks like an absolute thug)

Jane Eyre: The Story of a Wolf-Girl
This was the poster for a play in (I believe) Shanghai. Still looks like one of those howling wolf T-shirts.

Jane Eyre: Where Disembodied Smoke-Suitors Serenade Your Dreams
This is an authentic Victorian handbill for a play adaptation.

Jane Eyre, Or How a Plucky Young American Secretary Learned to Enjoy Rural English Living


Jane Eyre with Nausea-Inducing Color Saturation (see also, "1950s B-movie")

Jane Eyre: Geriatric Edition

Jane Eyre: This Fire is So Sad, and Also We're Ghosts


Jane Eyre: How A Poor Arsonist Won the 400 Meter Dash

Jane Eyre: It's Opera, So It Must Be Sexy

Jane Eyre: The Tale of the Happiest Dog in the World

Jane Eyre: How an Elf-Woman Gave a Man Migraines

Jane Eyre: "Egad!"

Jane Eyre: A Pre-Raphaelite Medieval Revival Non-Sequitur

Jane Eyre: "The Call Is Coming From Inside The House"

Jane Eyre: The Story of How a Coy Bimbo Found Love

Jane Eyre: The Story of Impending Domestic Abuse

Jane Eyre: How Well-Dressed Women Don't Look Where They're Going
(Her internal monologue is, "I don't look. I'm looked at.")

Jane Eyre: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
(that was a joke about the handwriting in the film's opening credits, by the way)

Jane Eyre: No. Just No.

Jane Eyre, Or How the White Queen Escaped Narnia
(Actually, I really like this cover but it somehow doesn't feel quite right to me)

Jane Eyre: The Wheat Edition
[ETA: Someone just suggested that this cover could also be called "Jane Eyre: The Terrance Malick Edition", which made me laugh so hard I did a spit-take when I read it]

So . . . those covers were a thing. If nothing else, it makes you appreciate a well-done book jacket.

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Bad covers

Heh, and the publishing industry hold up bad covers as an example of why self-publishing is A BAD THING... if they can't even give a classic a decent outside, somehow I think they lost the right to gripe.
Thanks for this post, I'm trying to break into the cover art industry and I have to say some wonderfully awful paradigms of putrid production are both good for the ego and an AWFUL WARNING.

heh. I'm still giggling at your tag lines. Brilliant. :D

Jane Eyre was a comic

I had a sudden flashback to a Girls Own Annual I had as a child which had a comic version of Jane Eyre included. I with I still had that.

Jane Eyre - Classsics Illustrated

I had the Classics Illustrated issue of Jane Eyre.
My mother gasped, "We don't read such things!" until
she saw the title. Smart woman - she said nothing further.


Those are great fun to see. I also read the Classic Comics version & loved it. Might have inspired me reading the book but I don't remember.

that I still have on my shelf from a college class in the late 60s. "Jane Eyre: How Well-Dressed Women Don't Look Where They're Going"

They all seem to be pretty intent on either making Jane a TOTAL BABE or giving the ending away

This is my favorite book of all time. Love this post! I laughed at every single "edition".

cover art

I wonder if younger people realize how much nicer paperbacks look these days than they used to even 25 years ago. It was very usual back then to buy a paperback with a lurid, ugly illustration that had nothing whatsoever to do with the novel. It was as if all publishers were trying to make any novel appear like a torrid Hollywood movie with a babe or like a bodice-ripper. Paperbacks as objects have improved immensely. However, sometimes an artefact becomes more beautiful just before it disappears.


Eeek! Truly awful & was that Kirk Douglas?

I love, love, love Jane Eyre so I was curious how terrible the covers could be....AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. I'm amused at the "Jane Eyre: RUN! HE GON GETCHA!" cover, which with all its "immortal" and "undying love" in the cover blurb seems to be implying it's a vampire romance.

Jane Eyre Covers

That film with Virginia Bruce was made in the 1930's, not the 1950's.

Jane Eyre Covers

Funny, funny - you made me miss part of The young and Restless . Now let's see what you can do with "Wuthering Heights" Love, Your Grandma


Hilarious! I loved your comments! I almost peed myself from laughing so hard...

Jane Eyre covers

Wonderful! I laughed so hard it took ten minutes to look at them all, because every time I wiped my eyes dry, I cracked up again. Priceless! And yes, when I was 13, I loved, loved, loved Jane Eyre. Still have whole hunks of it memorized. The opening of Elizabeth Hoyt's The Raven Prince is such a parody of how Rochester and Jane meet that I have loved Hoyt ever since. Thank you.

Bad Jane Eyre covers

I'd bet the one with the red nail polish is from the recent spate of "let's make a perfectly good classic novel look like a 19th-century predecessor of Twilight" republishing.

An AUTOBIOGRAPHY I think you don't know what that means.


Actually, the first edition was published Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, edited by Currer Bell. The audience understood that it was a fictitious autobiography, but it was not uncommon for works of fiction to sometimes be labeled as autobiographies.

Jane Eyre: The Wheat Edition

Amazing! Thanks for the much-needed laugh!

Alternate title tag for the last one: "Jane Eyre: The Terrence Malick Edition"

Thank you for those! I'm still laughing, although I may have frightening dreams.


"Dame Darcy" goth illustrated one is ridiculous: I've seen it in person, and your caption, while brief, was perfection.

I think she sold Jane dolls made with real human hair on etsy @ the time it was released.

Love your site <3

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