A very OED Christmas, with beautiful books

Yesterday’s yuletide OED Word of the Day was ‘manger‘. Today, for the ‘Feast of Stephen‘ (of ‘Good King Wenceslas’ fame), the WOTD was ‘left-over‘, proving once and for all that the fine people/bots at the OED also have a fine sense of humour.

Speaking of Christmas indulgence, I’ve been book-lusting after these for some time now:


Penguin Classics, Waterstone’s Hardback Set. Clothbound cover design by Coralie Bickford-Smith. Full Flickr gallery here.

Thanks for bringing them down my chimney, St. Nick (and never mind that I live in a mid-storey apartment, about as sans chimney as they come).

Namaste and festive felicitations to all!


PS. Here’s a fabulous Penguin blog interview with Coralie Bickford-Smith, the designer of said gorgeous book covers. The Q & A is a battle of Helvetica vs Futura, and Bickford-Smith answers in graphics as well as text. Online media publishing at its best.

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5 thoughts on “A very OED Christmas, with beautiful books”

  1. Cheers! Believe it or not I’m the “person/bot” who picks the OED word of the the day and it’s really nice to know that that words for “special days” are appreciated!

    1. Hello!! I’m so chuffed that you exist/found me! I appreciate EVERY word of the day, but especially when there’s some surreptitious relevance. This year I discovered that July 1 was Canada Day, because the ‘Maple Leaf’ entry in my inbox started me wondering (and googling). Many thanks!

  2. I am thinking of purchasing the Penguin books you mentioned, but I am wondering if the books contain a “Notes” section like most other Penguin Classics?

    1. I’m looking at the Pride & Prejudice at the moment (with a lovely pattern of English geese/swans on the cover) and yes, it is prefaced with Acknowledgements, Notes about the Penguin Edition of Jane Austen Novels, Chronology, Introduction, and finished with the Original penguin Classics Introduction by Tony Tanner, Emendations to the Text, and ‘Notes’.
      Hope that helps, and enjoy! They really are lovely.

  3. Thank you Olivia! I have been trying to find more detailed information about these editions, and stumbled upon your blog post about them.

    My favorite thing about the Penguin Classics are the numbered notes in each chapter that match up to the section at the end of the book, which give explanations for outdated words, or references to political or social events taking place at the time of the novel. I love hardcover classics, but it is not always easy to find beautifully bound books which still contain these type of in-depth commentary. I’m thrilled to hear that these editions include this information.

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