PUBLIC DOMAIN ATROCITIES

a while back, i got a beautiful edition of one of my all-time favorite books—zuleika dobson—for my birthday. when i was trying to find the specific edition on goodreads, to brag about my beauty of a book, i came across this edition:

and it rattled me to my core. books in the public domain—books anyone with a digital file, a printer, and a dream can produce and sell, can be a sweet side hustle for people looking to make a quick buck, and they are free to make their own choices when it comes to the cover art they select, but this one cracked me up because it is not even close to representing the contents or the tone of the book. i decided to do a deep dive into the world of public domain publishing, to see what else was out there. and OH, the discoveries i made…

ANNA KARENINA

ANNA KARENINA

the perfect example of a public domain ARTrocity
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A ROOM WITH A VIEW

A ROOM WITH A VIEW

not a great view, no, but i suppose it counts.
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SISTER CARRIE

SISTER CARRIE

no complaints. perfect cover.
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A PAIR OF BLUE EYES

A PAIR OF BLUE EYES

typing search terms into google image search: A+ evaluating the results for relevance: C-
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AS A MAN THINKETH

AS A MAN THINKETH

nothing illuminates the path of self-reflection and spiritual contemplation quite like the mall's food court.
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TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA

TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA

twenty thousand leagues about two or three feet under the sea
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THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV

THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV

someone only read the CliffsNotes
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THE STORY OF THE GREEKS

THE STORY OF THE GREEKS

you had one job, etc
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PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

wow. way to give away the ending.
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ON THE DUTY OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

ON THE DUTY OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

the new avengers movie is just captain america when he all old and wrinkly, sitting on a log in the woods with thoreau, and they just talk. unceasingly, all glowy with idealism and stiff with opinions, not really listening to each other, and it is FOUR HOURS LONG. 
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ADAM BEDE

ADAM BEDE

i'm sorry, but what. the. fuck??
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THE IRON HEEL

THE IRON HEEL

A dystopian novel about the terrible oppressions of an American oligarchy at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and the struggles of a socialist revolutionary movement. But ALSO a carefree commercial for feminine hygiene products. Or fence-porn for splinter-fetishists.
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MOBY-DICK

MOBY-DICK

so goddamn close...
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FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

that's very far, indeed!
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WUTHERING HEIGHTS/VILLETTE

WUTHERING HEIGHTS/VILLETTE

i don’t know what book this WOULD be an appropriate cover for, but it is not either of these.
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THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK

no need to hunt for the snark today, friends; i'll bring it right to you: what a difference a letter makes!
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