Ruben Toledo for Penguin Deluxe Classics

Since I first saw them sitting gracefully on display at the bookstore, I have been in love with the new Penguin Deluxe Classics featuring cover art by the amazing Ruben Toledo. I think what I love most about Toledo's illustrations is the way that they each capture something about the books they adorn, unlike other covers which are just random paintings of porcelain noblewomen, or sweeping views of English manors. I love the way that Dorian  Gray is his painting reaching out in a curious and jarring way to grab the woman (Sibyl Vane?); the way Darcy and Elizabeth are acting disdainfully towards each other and yet cannot help but look back either; the way Jane Eyre is reminding me so much of the parable of the virgins with the light she holds in her tiny lantern and the treacherous road behind her; the way Hester Prynne is peeking out through her hair so that we cannot quite see all that she is; the way that Dracula is both man and monster; the wandering gypsy-like look of a wild Cathy wandering the moor.... For me, Toledo has captured what I love so much about each of the books he has illustrated, and slowly, I find myself buying all of the books up and devouring their covers with hungry eyes. I keep hoping that Penguin will have him illustrate more, and I am wondering what sort of cover he would draw for Little Women. Yes, I am quite smitten with his work and hope that they inspire you, too.

{images}: Barnes and Noble; copyright Penguin Classics and Ruben Toledo

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