Friday Faceoff – Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again… #Brainfluffbookblog

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This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This meme is currently being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and the subject this week featuring on any of our covers is MYSTERY NOVEL, so I’ve selected Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

 

This edition was produced by Little, Brown and Company in December 2013. Initially I didn’t like it – too gloomy and odd. But it is a cover that has grown on me. There is a lot going on despite the preponderance of black – the glamorous woman hugging herself, clearly in trouble. For once, I even think the textbox featuring the title is well done – though I generally hate them – as it gives a sense of the period in which this classic was written.

 

Published in 2006 by HarperCollins, this is a classic case of more is less. The sepia image of the steps, presumably leading to Manderley, are suitably appropriate. Granted, the very plain white font is rather bald and could have done with a bit of texture or shadowing to lift it – but then scrawling a fancy R over the whole thing in a mismatched colour just shouts that some big boss looked at it and decided it ‘needed something’. He was probably right – but definitely not the odd scolling either side of that very plain font, or that R…

 

This edition, published by Virago in December 2007 is more like it. Those wrought-iron gates with the ominous glow in the background, echoed in the sky above the author’s name leaves a sense of menace without giving the impression it’s horror. I quite like this one, though once again, I think the title and author name are rather too plain.

 

Produced by Virago Modern Classics in 2015, this is my favourite. For starters, unlike any of the others to date, this cover is actually beautiful. The scrolling of the wrought-iron gate, the looping font for both the author and the title are eye-catching and visually appealing. And yet… those hectic red flowers shout that something is amiss – maybe dangerous.

 

This edition, also published by Virago, though in July 2015, is another excellent effort. You can see echoes of the previous design (I’m not sure which one came first) in the styling of the author and title font, but the colour is different. The silhouettes of Manderlay and the second Mrs de Winters – or is it Rebecca? – stand out really well against the black background. This one is a very close second, though the previous cover still just edges it for me. Which is your favourite?

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30 responses »

    • Thank you, Tammy – when I saw the subject this one was something of a no-brainer for me. It is quite tricky to choose – it was those fabulous flowers that did it for me:).

  1. Whew, caught up at last! 🙂
    That said, I agree with your choice. I love the play on lettering inside the iron gate. I almost wish that sepia cover could have inserted cracks into the steps that shape the name REBECCA. Ah well. 🙂

  2. I wish I read this one. I like the last three covers (Virago editions) because they are colourful. I agree with the black background being gloomy and odd.

    • It’s a wonderful book, Jackie – there’s a solid reason why it’s such a classic. Yes, I do think the Virago editions have all successfully caught the feel and emotion of the book really well.

  3. Oooh, you only went and picked what is possibly my favourite all time read. I love Rebecca. So difficult to choose – I love your choice and your second choice as well and don’t think I could pick between them.
    Lynn 😀

  4. I totally agree with your comments on cover #2: too busy, too distracting – and cover #3 is the one that sums up the mystery and danger in a more effective way. Although I must say that #4 projects a certain feeling of disquiet… 🙂

  5. Ooh, this book is absolutely one of my favorites. And I have to say, all of these covers are amazing! I’ll have to say, I agree with the red one being your favorite. It’s really pretty and it stands out. I think the one I like the least is the sepia one. It’s very similar to a lot of other books in this genre and doesn’t stand out at all. Although maybe if you don’t know this book, it helps to guess the themes?

    • Yes, I suppose you’re right about that – I’m glad to have found a positive for that cover, anyway:). And I’m especially glad you love this book so much, Evelina!

  6. I think the last one is my favorite. The font is nice and the cover has an ominous feel without it being too much. The one with the red flowers is a close second. I like the fonts of the those two, compared to the others where the font is a bit too plain. And those frills and big R on the sephia cover don’t do wonders for the cover at all, while I do like the sephia image, with different font I think it would look much better.

  7. Tough choices, I think I like the Virago 2007 cover. The colours really attracted me. Having said that, I liked the Harper Collins one with the sepia cover. It gives a bit of atmosphere.

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