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: WHY THE HELL DOES SHE HAVE RED NAIL POLISH ON?
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: RUN! HE GON GETCHA!
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.
- Bad Jane Eyre Covers