Posts Tagged ‘Jane Austen book gifts’

I own quite a few copies of each of Jane Austen’s novels. Many are annotated, some are old editions or designed for children. Others are illustrated with different artists, many of whom are well known. Most recently I purchased Sense and Sensibility (hardcover), and Pride and Prejudice and Emma (kindle.) All three are illustrated by one of my favorite wildlife artists, Marjolein Bastin, who is known worldwide for her delicate watercolors and gorgeous depictions of flowers, birds, and animals from the field. Click on images below to view some of the beautiful illustrations up close.

photo of Marjolijn Bastin

Illustrator Marjolein Bastin

While Ms Bastin’s painting subjects do not at first seem aligned with Austen’s stories, they are as romantically gorgeous as the author’s prose. They are, in fact, perfect gifts for introducing family members and friends to your favorite author. Considering Austen’s upbringing in Steventon and the countryside and her final years in Chawton Cottage, these images in  Ms Bastin’s portfolio are suited to evoking the countryside in soft, beautiful strokes.

Certainly purchasing a hardback is the best choice, for such a book is tactile, allowing us to finger the pages, and flip back and forth to reread a passage. Hardback books last a long time and remain in good condition much longer than a paperback. In Sense and Sensibility’s edition, gifts of inserts appeared at random throughout the chapters – note the postcard in figure four above!

Online books also have their good features, however. They are portable. I can read them on several devices any time and any place where I have connectivity. My iPad and smart phone allow me to read at night without light, and to change the font size to suit my eyes. While one can find particular passages, the tactile joy of reading a book is gone. When purchasing these books, one does not own them. You are only renting them.

Plus, digital volumes are hidden inside a tablet or computer, while my hardbacks are given logical designations inside my bookcases. I can feast my eyes on them at will and run my fingertips lovingly along their spines. Below are the covers and inserts from my digital books.

More information about illustrated books & illustrators:

About Marjolein Bastin:

Marjolein’s work is enjoyed the world over. In addition to her partnership with Hallmark, she provides ongoing contributions to Libelle, as well as a variety of product partners in Europe and North America. She and her husband Gaston divide their time between country homes in Holland, Switzerland and in Missouri, near Hallmark’s headquarters, as well a tropical retreat in the Cayman Islands. Each setting provides a unique glimpse of what nature has to offer throughout the world.

My personal story: My mother (Moeder) filled a Bastin Dutch birthday calendar of her friends and relatives. This is how I got to know the artist. (My first cousin’s name is Marjolijn.) See the calendar front page below in Dutch.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: