So this week it’s my turn to create the “perfect” cover for a book and most happily collaborate with Catalan blog Dr Read Good.
First thought: what shall I pick up among the tons of books that I adore? I had no doubt. I wanted to start from my favourite novel ever: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.
A series of doubts and long thoughts immediately started spinning in my head, for two main reasons:
1. I wouldn’t really define myself a people photographer.
2. Where the hell shall I find people dressed as they were in the XVIII century?
This two tiny problems where soon avoided and overcome. Here’s my “perfect” cover for Pride and Prejudice.
My choice might be quite controversial. No people, no Elizabeth nor Darcy, which not only are the two main protagonists in this novel, but are also the main subjects in most covers.
I wanted something different, something that could go beyond the images and drawings of pretty young girls, and that in some way could represent the kind of photography that I love doing the most.
My choice was then to focus on Nature. It is true that in this novel it’s quite marginal and most of the times natural landscapes only serve to better define the characters. The only exception is in chapter 43, where we find the only real description in the whole story where nature is more important than the characters themselves and the influence it has on one of them…
…and at that moment she felt, that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!
It’s the final line of a passage where we get to know Pemberley and it’s natural beauty, with its high woody hills and a stream, and it’s also the moment when Elizabeth goes through a change. To go further, the description we find here might not only simbolise Elizabeth’s becoming aware of her feelings, but also Mr Darcy’s good character.
For me nature represents the wilderness and the rebellion that can be found in Elizabeth: she follows the rules imposed by the society she lives in, but she also rebels against them. She walks for about three miles in the mud to see her sister Jane who is ill, likes to take long walks (and is therefore criticized for her suntan), goes in Kent with her aunt and uncle and enjoys the beauty of the landscapes…
I wanted to portray the subtle role of nature, and how it represents Elizabeth’s character: educated but never tamed, beautiful but of a beauty you need to have the eyes for, strong and wild when it serves. And in some ways Mr Darcy as well, with his great heart and goodness… all summed up in a brief yet crucial natural description!