Saturday, May 27, 2006

Saturday, May 27, 2006 11:09 am by Cristina   No comments
As usual, there are new editions of Brontë novels in the works. This is the approach this time around:

Jane Austen's new look has just hit bookshops. You may recall the storm that blew up after I revealed how publisher Headline was giving Austen a swirly "romantic" cover style; I'm pleased to see the new editions are alluring. Let's hope they reach people who haven't picked up an Austen novel since school but loved Keira Knightley's turn as Lizzie Bennet. Bloomsbury is also getting in on the act, rejacketing some classics for the teenage market. Six novels - Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, David Copperfield and Treasure Island - will be given newspaper-style end sections with social and historical contexts, including fashion columns and "breaking news" of contemporary wars. Introductions will be replaced by chatty "Why you should read this ..." recommendations from teen authors.

This is not the first time something like this happens, and it makes us cringe every time. We'd like to suggest editors and publishing houses that they treat teenagers as normal people. The huge hormonal levels have nothing to do with idiocy. All they need is to be introduced properly (and that doesn't include "chatty" lines in our books, no pun intended) to the stories. Many teenagers have fallen in love with these novels over time without such things, you know.



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