Pride and Prejudice, a Farce


I bought this 1946 copy of Pride and Prejudice, illustrated by Edgard Cirlin, on a whim at a book sale a few years back.  This purchase was definitely one of my misadventures.  I dislike this book very much.  I think when I bought it, I saw the cover, thought the rainbow geometric designs pretty, but didn’t look through it well enough.  I put blinders on, like I sometimes do when it comes to my favorite authors, more ecstatic than anything to find an older copy of Pride and Prejudice.  But before I say more, I’ll show you why I don’t like it:




There are a number of decent pen and ink drawings (but there’s more bad than good), and of those, this is probably my favorite illustration in the entire book.  It reminds me of Wuthering Heights.


Despite how much I abhor this book, it actually is somewhat valuable.  There are very few copies floating around on the internet, but those I’ve found rank at $25, 50, or $100.  It’s a first edition, and I have to say, I’m glad I don’t have the dust jacket for this one, as it’s just as bad as the illustrations inside (and there’s no Mr. Darcy on the cover!):

Image adopted from MOD manuscript's blog post on 'Book Covers that Move You: Pride and Prejudice Across the Ages.'

Image adopted from MOD manuscript’s blog post on ‘Book Covers that Move You: Pride and Prejudice Across the Ages.’

While I love every aspect of Pride and Prejudice, I feel the illustrations seen in this particular copy are vulgar in comparison to how I feel about the story.  I can see why the the illustrator chose those scenes above to illustrate in watercolors, as the characters themselves and the situations Austen places them in are comical; however, I feel Cirlin overdid himself, and not in a good way.

Hopefully I won’t have too many more misadventures like this one.



Filed under 1940s, Books

2 responses to “Pride and Prejudice, a Farce

  1. I agree. Vulgar and garish. I do wonder though how the color illustrations would have looked to someone back in 1946? Hmmm…I may need to research that some myself!

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