A Study of “Fidelity” in Middlemarch Book Covers

Zahra Nazemi


Book Covers play a major role in the identification and reception of literary works. However, not so many studies have been attributed to them. Genette and other critics’ concern about the significance of book covers lead the present study to investigate the factor of “fidelity” in Middlemarch book covers. To this end, six available covers from the Penguin Classics will be taken into consideration. The results would investigate how this publisher has been successful in demonstrating true images of the novel. It is concluded that while some covers do not give a true picture of the incidents of the novel, some like Midlands’ 1994 and 2003 versions have been relatively sincere in presenting the novel. It is hoped that the results will help the critics to pay more careful attention to book covers and their influence on the reception of literary works.


Book covers; Middlemarch; Fidelity; Penguin classics

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Eliot, G. (1965). Middlemarch. New York: Penguin Classic.

Eliot, G. (1967). Middlemarch. New York: Penguin Classic.

Eliot, G. (1994). Middlemarch. Midlands: Penguin Classic.

Eliot, G. (1994). Middlemarch. New York: Penguin Classic.

Eliot, G. (2003). Middlemarch. Midlands: Penguin Classics.

Eliot, G. (2005). Selected novels of George Eliot. Wordsworth Editions.

Eliot, G. (2011). Middlemarch. Midlands: Penguin Classics.

Genette, G. (1997). Paratexts: Thresholds of interpretation (J. E. Lewin, Trans.). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kluwick, U. (2009). Postcolonial literatures on a global market. In P. Rüdiger & K. Gross (Eds.). Translation of cultures (75-94). Amsterdam and New York.

Lau, L., & Varughese, E. D. (2015). Indian writing in English and issues of visual representation: Judging more than a book by its cover. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mathews, N., & Moody, N. (2007). Judging a book by its cover: Fans, publishers, designers, and the marketing of fiction. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Middlemarch. (2017, May 8). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 2017, May 15 from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Middlemarch&oldid=779364911

Penguin Classics. (2017, April 12). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 2017, May 15 from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Penguin_Classics&oldid=775020423

Wagner, P. (1996). Icons, texts, iconotexts: Essays on ekphrasis and intermediality. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/9604


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