Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics: The Original Series
This page focuses on the original ‘old style’ editions of the Barnes & Noble Collectible Leatherbound Classics, published between 1992-1996. If you are looking for one of the later collections, check out the complete list in the Guide to collecting Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions.
Barnes & Noble brought out their first set of collectible leather-bound classic editions in 1992. The contents were omnibus editions, binding up multiple titles by the same author in a single book, and initial designs were very traditional, with dark (bonded) leather covers featuring gold text and simple foiled borders on the front and back boards, raised bands on the spine, gilt page edges, decorative endpapers, and a sewn-in ribbon bookmark. The size was typically around 9-10 inches high and 6-7 inches wide.
These first books were typically brought out in two formats – one ‘casebound’ (a typical hardback) and a more limited number of ‘leatherbound’ copies. The contents of books were identical, with the copyright page including both ISBNs, and they were printed on environmentally friendly archival paper by Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper. In 2005, the release of the highly decorated edition of The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll started a new revolution, leading into the much more decorative editions we know and recognise as making up the Barnes & Noble Collectible Classics series today. The books were originally marketed as ‘leatherbound Barnes & Noble Exclusive Books’ until around 2007, and the loose collection of books listed below (which for ease of reference I call ‘the original series’) includes all the leatherbound classics that were published between 1992-2006.
The same title was frequently reprinted in different colored leather bindings (navy, plum, green, etc) and later printings also began to add more flourishes and imagery to the designs. However, it’s important to know that B&N frequently reused the same ISBN for different editions prior to 2005, and so if you are buying online, editions may have different cover designs despite having the same copyright information. See below, for example, comparing some of the multiple printing iterations of old style editions of The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, all of which list the same ISBN and official publication date of 1992 on the copyright page.
In the bibliography below, I have included pictures of the different cover designs that were printed with the same ISBN and date, so if you are buying online, definitely consider requesting photographs beforehand if you are concerned about which design you might get.
Complete list of the Barnes & Noble Original Leatherbound Classics
The Family Mark Twain by Mark Twain
Includes: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Life on the Mississippi, and selected prose.
Gray’s Anatomy (15th ed) by Henry Gray, illustrated by H. V. Carter
Barnes & Noble (1995, reissued 10/01/2000)
1995 (reissued 10/01/2000)
1096p. 7.75(w) x 9.75 (h).
A facsimile of the 1901 edition.