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The First Edition Covers of 25 Classic Books

We try not to judge books by their covers — both proverbially and literally — but sometimes we just can't help it. After all, the cover is your first impression of a book, and can inform the way yo...
  • Jiayi Wang

    The Trial (Kafka's original German title: Der Process, later as Der Prozess and Der Prozeß) is a novel written by Franz Kafka in 1914 and 1915 but not published until 1925. One of Kafka's best-known works, it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed to neither him nor the reader.

  • Erin Almost

    The Trial by Kafka. Ok, here's the truth - I didn't particularly like this book for, oh, the first half. I found it whiny, and that made me feel guilty, and like I was missing something. But the second half, oh the second half. Totally worth it.

  • Roy Escobar

    The First Edition Covers of 25 Classic Books: The Trial (Der Process), by Franz Kafka. Die Schmiede, Berlin, // Material via Twitter @BelenBermejo1925 One of my favorite works.

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The First Edition Covers of 25 Classic Books: A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess. William Heinemann, London, 1962

Alvin Lustig's original cover for Kafka's"Amerika" (New Directions/New Classics)

Display of a page in Franz Kafka’s handwriting, in an exhibition in Berlin, 1966.

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Scribner, New York, 1925. Cover design by Francis Cugat.

The First Edition Covers of 25 Classic Books: Animal Farm, by George Orwell. Secker and Warburg, London, 1945

1st ed., Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh. Chapman and Hall, London, 1945

Heidi Heidi Written by Johanna Spyri. Illustrated by Roberta Macdonald. Junior Deluxe Editions, 1954.

Loving these: Justina Blakeney: Just Gorgeous! Check out these vintage book covers!