Monday, January 4, 2021

Something About the Colour Out of Books

Add another hue.

I was reviewing the blog's comments about the 1978 Hutchinson edition of The House with a Clock in its Walls, as published on the blog during the book's fortieth anniversary:

Reading that this edition’s cover art was by Edward Gorey doesn’t really sink in at first: so was the American’s edition – no big deal. It’s not until you see the cover do you realize that Hutchinson went all out on this one and took the black-and-white frontispiece from the edition published by Dial, colorized it, and then set it off within an oval frame on a field of black. [...] Maybe it's Mrs. Zimmermann's looming presence in the story or, more likely, the American edition by Dial, but we always associate purple with this book.

Where I'm going today is what color do you associate with each book or series? I would agree with the earlier comment as House makes me think of purple, too. (Which is funny because it's the house next door to the one in the title with the most purple.)  Similarly, I associate The Figure in the Shadows with blue and The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring with red because the original books were those colors. That is, blue is the color both of the jacket and the boards of the original edition of Figure. The boards of Letter are red and while red is not the predominant color of the jacket there are still a number of warm colors used in the illustration.

Elsewhere, The Curse of the Blue Figurine reminds me of – surprise – blue. Blue is also the color of the Bantam paperback edition of Curse and I wonder if it provides some subconscious influence. On the flipside, I don't know if Anthony Monday or his books make me think of any color. You?

Looking back I wonder why more color words weren't chosen to appear in titles. I mean, The Purple Witch of Destiny has a nice ring to it.

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