Classics Challenge – April Prompt: the Book Cover

Katherine at November’s Autumn hosts the Classics Challenge. This month’s focus is the Book Cover. The old and worn adage of never judging a book by its cover is partly true but a book cover tells the reader a lot about what’s inside you can usually tell what genre it is or what time period it takes place in.

What are your first impressions as you look at the cover? Does the book cover have an aspect that reflects the character, setting, or plot of the novel?  If you could have designed the book cover what would you have chosen?

Currently I’m reading Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte on my Kindle. I knew nothing about it before I began reading. There is no information on the Kindle e-book about the cover illustration and I don’t think it gives many clues about the book.

 My first impression on looking at the cover was that the character of Agnes Grey may have been a lady’s maid in a large household. However, I soon discovered that she is the impoverished daughter of a clergyman and she is employed as a governess to the unruly and spoilt children of wealthy families.

The cover does reflect the setting of the novel in Victorian times, although not the position Agnes has in the household – she is not a servant.  But it does reflect Agnes’s character as she is demure, gentle and rather timid. I’ve not finished the book yet, but so far Agnes has been totally unable to control the awful children in her charge and is not given any authority to reprimand them from their parents. The lone figure on the cover reflects the position in which Agnes finds herself – alone and unsupported by her employers.

If I could have designed the book cover I think I would have chosen a similar scene, but would have chosen one showing a governess and the children.

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