Cover Collection: War and Peace

1.Oxford World’s Classics // 2. Vintage Classics Hardback // 3. Pocket Penguin Classics

4. Penguin Classics // 5. Random House // 6. Modern Library Classics

I have never read War and Peace, but these covers are incredibly enticing and make me want to. I love how ornate and beautiful they are, even the simple Penguin with the woman’s face. If I had to choose one to purchase I’d buy no. 2. I’m really drawn to the colors and the boldness of the font. Have you read War and Peace? Which cover would you pick up in a library or bookstore?

Here’s an ode to big books and a list of 10 long novels that are worth reading.

18 thoughts on “Cover Collection: War and Peace

  1. I’m drawn to No.2 but with a book like this I automatically think about other things. The translation, the font, the introduction ….. Lovely though Vintage editions are they are often lacking in the last, and so I’d veer to OWC or Penguin. War and Peace is very much on my ‘One Day’ list but I have plans to read Anna Karenina first, probably this autumn.


    1. I never really thought about how important the translation is in foreign language novels until I started reading blogs. I would ultimately go for the best translation too – and it would hopefully have a nice cover. 🙂
      I also want to read Anna Karenina this year.


  2. I do like #2 as well – but I have to agree with Fleur. I know that I’d want all the notes & explanations I could get, so I’d probably go with #1. I’m not sure what that design is, but it’s very attractive (red seems appropriate for this book). I have failed three times at least with Anna Karenina, so Tolstoy is on my “one day far in the future maybe” list.


    1. I failed with Anna Karenina a couple of years ago (got 350 pgs. in) but I would like to try again. I liked it so I am not sure why I never finished.
      There is something about the red on no. 1 that really draws the eye.


  3. When I read War and Peace last year I chose the Vintage Classics edition because I wanted to read the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation, but I love the cover too. I also like no. 1 and no. 5 because I like the colours.


  4. I took Tolstoy in college, the entire class syllabus was essentially War and Peace (it was an 11 week quarter). We read the Signet classic edition:

    I mostly liked it but it’s been so long I can barely remember anything about it, except that all the characters were aristocrats and therefore spoke French. And I never read the last 50 pages, which was essentially a long essay on the nature of History. Luckily, it wasn’t on the final exam. I do remember liking it better than Anna Karenina.


  5. Oh that Signet cover gives a very different impression of the book than the covers that I chose!
    I think it would be fun to discuss these big books as a group – the only big book I remember reading in college was Little Dorrit and we only had a few weeks to read it.


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