Wordsworth’s Collector’s Editions of Classic Novels

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Wordsworth's Collector's Editions of Classic Novels

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Edit: I’ve updated this original 2018 post to also include the 20192020, 20212022, 2023 and 2024 releases in this series, as well as the new “Luxe” collection.

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links for which I may be compensated (this does not affect my reviews nor cost you any money, but helps support my site hosting costs). I deeply appreciate your support of my site if you use these links, but warmly encourage you to buy from your local Indie bookshop if you have the opportunity.

Introduction & Review

2018 series

Newly released last month is another delightful collection of hardcovers to add to my long list of publishers of classic children’s literature and other classic novels. These British Wordsworth Collector’s Editions are very affordable volumes (hence, glued bindings, so perhaps not a long-term investment). They come in attractive bright colours with matching coloured end papers, and feature embossed gold and coloured blocking to enhance their beautiful, bespoke cover illustrations. 

2019-2021 series

Early books in the series were children’s classics, but later years have seen an expansion to more adult titles (still appropriate for a child audience), including the Brontës in 2019, numerous Jane Austen novels in 2020, and a set of Sherlock titles in 2021.

2022-2023 series

From 2022 onwards, the series has started trending towards an even more adult line-up of titles including a bunch of gothic fiction perfect for Hallowe’en. 2023 saw several more Shakespeare volumes and longer classic literature.

Luxe collection

Alternatively, if you’d like something a bit more fancy, but still in the affordable Wordsworth range, then you should check out Wordsworth’s new “Luxe” collection released in 2023. These have beautifully decorated and foiled cover designs, sprayed page edges, patterned end-papers and a silk ribbon bookmark. They are apparently a ‘limited edition’, meaning it’s unlikely they will be reprinted after the first run has sold out.

Overall review

The books are compact editions (trim page size is 178 x 129mm) which is nice for kids to hold, with an original retail release price of under £7. The images below show a bit of closeup of the boards (which are covered in textured card), a sample of the cute quotes and images on the back cover, the binding, and the decent text size. Ultimately, if you are looking for a cute and inexpensive set of hardback classics with pretty covers and spines, this one will suit nicely. 

❦ Alternatively, if you are interested in Wordsworth’s even cheaper paperback collection (which is essentially the exact same content under a paperback binding), you can also check out their Exclusive Paperback Collection.

2024 releases

A couple of dystopian classics by George Orwell are promised for 2024.

Animal Farm - George Orwell

Wordsworth Classics,
Details TBC

→ Details coming soon…

1984 - George Orwell

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228823, TBC

→Details coming soon…

2023 releases

A limited edition set of six beloved classics. These beautiful hardback books have “a hand-etched design complete with foil detail embossed on a linen cover, sprayed page edges, patterned end-papers and a silk ribbon marker.”

Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Wordsworth Classics,
9781840228564, Sep 2023 

Ulysses - James Joyce

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228601, Sep 2023

→ Find at: Amazon | B&N | Waterstones | Blackwells

Lady Chatterley's Lover - DH Lawrence

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228557,
Sep 2023

→ Find at: Amazon (tbc) | B&N | Waterstones | Blackwells

A Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228502,
Sep 2023

Macbeth - William Shakespeare

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228403, Sep 2023

Hamlet - William Shakespeare

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228458, Sep 2023

2023: Limited Luxe Collection

A limited edition set of six beloved classics. These beautiful hardback books have “a hand-etched design complete with foil detail embossed on a linen cover, sprayed page edges, patterned end-papers and a silk ribbon marker.”

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Wordsworth Luxe Editions,
Jan 2023

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

Wordsworth Luxe Editions,
Jan 2023

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

Wordsworth Luxe Editions,
Jan 2023

Peter Pan - J. M. Barrie

Wordsworth Luxe Editions,
Jan 2023

Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Montgomery

Wordsworth Luxe Editions,
Jan 2023

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wordsworth Luxe Editions,
Jan 2023

2022 releases

Dracula - Bram Stoker

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228366, Aug 2022

→ Find at: Amazon

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228366, Aug 2022

→ Find at: Amazon |

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228359, Aug 2022

→ Find at: Amazon B&N | Waterstones | Blackwells

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228342, Aug 2022

Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228335,
Aug 2022

→ Find at: Amazon | B&N | Waterstones | Blackwells

Moby Dick - Herman Melville

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228304, Aug 2022

Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228328, Aug 2022

Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228281, Aug 2022

Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228298, Aug 2022

Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228373,
Aug 2022

Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840221961, Aug 2022

2021 releases

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228311, Sep 2021

The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228069, Sep 2021

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228052, Sep 2021

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes and His Last Bow - Arthur Conan Doyle

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228083, Sep 2021

A Study in Scarlet & The Sign of the Four - Arthur Conan Doyle

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228090, Sep 2021

The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle

Wordsworth Classics,
9781840228076, Sep 2021


Dubliners by James Joyce

Wordsworth Classics, 
9781840228106, Sep 2021


2020 releases

Emma - Jane Austen

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227963,
Sep 2020

Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227987,
Sep 2020

Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228007,
Sep 2020

Mansfield Park - Jane Austen

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227970,
Sep 2020

Persuasion - Jane Austen

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227994,
Sep 2020

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840228014,
Sep 2020

2019 releases

Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227949,
Sep 2019

→ Find at: AmazonB&N | Waterstones | Blackwells

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227925,
Sep 2019

The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227956,
Sep 2019

→ Find at: AmazonB&N | Waterstones | Blackwells

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227932,
Sep 2019

2018 releases

Little Women - Luisa May Alcott

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227789,
Jul 2018

Peter Pan - J. M. Barrie

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227895,
Jul 2018

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227796,
Jul 2018

❦ Also check out the Collector’s Guide to the most beautiful editions of The Secret Garden...

→ Find at: Amazon | B&N | Waterstones | Blackwells

Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227802,
Jul 2018

This edition comes with an introduction and notes by Michael Irwin, Professor of English Literature, University of Kent at Canterbury.

❦ Also check out the Collector’s Guide to Alice in Wonderland...

→ Find at: Amazon | B&N | Waterstones | Blackwells

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227819,
Jul 2018

The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227826,
Jul 2018

The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227833,
Jul 2018

Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Montgomery

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227840,
Jul 2018

The Railway Children - E. Nesbit

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227857,
Jul 2018

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227864,
Jul 2018

*This edition is translated by Irene Testot-Ferry and includes the author’s illustrations.

→ Find at: Amazon | B&N | Waterstones | Blackwells

Black Beauty - Anna Sewell

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227871,
Jul 2018

→ Find at: Amazon | B&N | Waterstones | Blackwells

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson

Wordsworth Classics, 9781840227888,
Jul 2018


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Fan · 16 December 2022 at 4:59 pm

Thanks for the review. I would like to know the book paper. Does it use the offset paper or recycled paper? I am not an Englishman and may not express the precise words. I read the wordsworth classic books and it uses recycled paper which will turn yellow and be oxidized with black and yellow spots. Do the collector series use the same paper as wordsworth classic?

And I noticed that the wordsworth has published a luxury edition : https://wordsworth-editions.com/series/the-luxe-editions/, only six most beloved books. I think you can have a try 🙂

Daniel · 31 July 2022 at 7:33 pm

Hi, I have started collecting these for my daughter and was wondering how we can find out the schedule of books to be released in this collection? I have seen on another website that in August Dracula is joining the collection but wondering about any other titles?!

    Daisy · 31 July 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Hi Daniel – I usually find out what releases are on the horizon via publisher’s catalogues that are released a couple of times a year. And thanks for reminding me – I’ve updated the list here with all of the August 2022 titles for you to look at – it’s a huge crop with 11 titles coming out! Lots of spooky classics since they are releasing just before Halloween (Dracula, Frankenstein, etc), more Dickens, and a nice variety of other titles too. Hope your daughter is enjoying them!

      Daniel · 31 July 2022 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks Daisy

      Daniel · 7 January 2023 at 7:16 pm

      Hi Daisy
      Will there be new volumes coming out in this series for 2023 or is it just the “Luxe” editions

Emma · 18 June 2022 at 6:37 am

Hello! I was wondering if you’ve had any issues with the quality of the covers? This set looks really pretty and I’d love to collect them, but I’m concerned about the quality. I saw multiple reviews online about the colors of the covers being easily scuffed off, and the material itself degrading quickly. There was even one comment that the interior pages smelled funny… Any thoughts?

    Daisy · 18 June 2022 at 7:39 am

    Hi Emma – yes, I’d agree that the covers on this series do scuff very easily. The books are designed to look very pretty on the shelf, but are made of materials that won’t stand up for a long time (e.g. the edges of the paper covers can lose colour with rough handling, the bindings may start to come loose after repeated reading). It’s a cost trade off, because they are really affordable but only because they cut costs on materials. I haven’t had issues with funny smelling pages though.

      Emma · 18 June 2022 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you so much!

Sophie · 5 June 2022 at 1:57 pm

Hello, I was wondering about the paper quality of the wordsmith classics. Are they acid free? Thanks

    Daisy · 5 June 2022 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Sophie! Yes, the pages are acid free (although not top quality). The glued bindings do have a shelf life of probably 20-40 years though.

      Sophie · 5 June 2022 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks for the quick response! Would this lower-quality paper, though acid free, still yellow quickly over time?

      I have some the Barnes and Nobles paperbacks, which look really pretty with the spines arranged by color on a shelf. But after 10 years they’ve yellowed and started to smell old, so I’m looking for another set of classics with pretty solid-colored spines that I can arrange by color 🙂 Suggestions welcomed!

        Daisy · 5 June 2022 at 3:05 pm

        Publishers have slowly been replacing acidic paper with acid-free over the past 10 years or so, and now they mostly all are – so probably if you bought those same B&N paperbacks now they wouldn’t yellow. The B&N hardback collectible classics have some gorgeous spines, are (now) acid-free, and often go on sale. And there are a bunch of other beautiful classics options here that you could look through to see if any fit your aesthetic – I’m actually working on a classics review video at the moment as well 🙂

          Sophie · 5 June 2022 at 10:06 pm

          Thank you so much for the info! And looking forward to the new video! 🙂

Mitali · 18 August 2021 at 4:17 pm

Please compare macmeel majoline bastin edition and chiltern edition. Specially paper quality

    Daisy · 18 August 2021 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Mitali! The Marjoline Bastin and Chiltern editions are quite different. The Bastin editions are larger (about twice the size of the Chiltern), illustrated with floral decorations, and contain pull-out paper pieces, like letters and menus from the book. The paper is matte and good quality (off-white, looks like recycled paper), and the covers are paper covered boards which will need to be looked after carefully to protect them. The Chiltern have really tactile embossed covers, and high quality glossy paper, and are really sturdy. They are small sized books that replicate the original size of the publications during Victorian times, but the quality of materials gives them a bit of weight. Both are well made, so you can feel comfortable whichever you choose!

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