A very thoughtful – nay, percipient – friend has sent me for my birthday the (Penguin Classics) Red set. I say the set, but said friend is so wise that she didn’t even bother sending me the 8th volume in the series, Dickens’s Great Expectations, knowing as she does my general lack of enthusiasm for Dickens’s turgid prose. So what I have is a Stoker, a Zola, a Tolstoy and a Dostoevsky, a Conrad, a James, and a Wharton. That’s a pretty good birthday present right there.
Not only is Product (Red) an excellent cause doing wonderful work; not only are the texts themselves obviously of the highest quality; but the special covers designed for these editions are little wonders of design. The cover for Dracula, the only of these seven I have properly read, is gloriously gothic; the cover for The Secret Agent draws a hidden message out of its expressionist chaos. Their typographic tricks are lovely.
So thanks, chum!