Marjolein Bastin Illustrated Classics

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Marjolein Bastin's Delicately Illustrated Classics with Removable Ephemera

Marjolein Bastin Illustrated Classics

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About the series

The books in Bastin’s illustrated classics series were originally published in Germany in 2018, and were first released in English in 2021.  The selection of books focuses on classic novels set during the past couple of hundred years, and the design is intended to breathe life in to the history and culture of the setting.

Tactile embossed bindings

The editions are bound in linen-textured paper with embossed flowers on the covers, and points of gold foiling scattered across the design – they are beautifully tactile publications, although the paper binding is a little fragile and will need care in taking it on and off the shelf. The pages are securely bound and smyth-sewn, and a convenient ribbon bookmark has been bound into the spine as well. The pages are medium weight, and the books are a very readable layout and size.

Internal illustrations

The books in this series are beautifully brought to life with Marjolein’s delightful nature illustrations and decorative chapter capitals throughout. These simple watercolor illustrations really lovingly capture the beauty of nature, with flowers and butterflies and leaves and bees frolicking through on almost every page. Note that the illustrations are primarily nature-based – they are not of characters or scenes from the book – instead they bring to mind the idea of an old book your grandmother might have lovingly filled with pressed flowers. 

Removable ephemera

But of course, the really special feature of these editions are all the fun removable ephemera that come with the book. Each book contains about ten removable pieces of ephemera that are loose and have been slipped in between pages by hand. When they appear they have been quite thoughtfully placed in the book – the dance card in Pride and Prejudice, for example, is inserted during a dance scene, and removable letters are also slotted in between pages where they occur in the story as well. You can tell that each piece has been carefully chosen to make sure it will help transport you to the historical setting of the story. Because the pieces are loose, it can be challenging to return them to the right location so I have added in an index to the ephemera below in case that helps someone!


Marjolein Bastin, nature artist

Marjolein is a highly regarded Dutch nature artist (check out her website for a gallery and detailed biography) also known as the creator of ‘Vera the Mouse’ and Hallmark’s Nature Sketchbook line. 

Video review

I featured the Marjolein Bastin edition of Pride and Prejudice video review and edition comparison with the Barbara Heller edition if you’d like to see inside…

Complete list of titles in the series


Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

Andrews McMeel, 9781524873851, Oct 4, 2022.

The story of the March sisters and their journey from childhood to adulthood during the American Civil War.

Index to the removable ephemera:

Mrs Gardiner invite/American fashion (p.27); candied lemons recipe (p.65); The Pickwick Portfolio (p.89); The American Civil War (p.141); first edition of little women title page (p.177); women’s suffrage pamphlet (p.231); map of Massachusetts (p. 265); envelope with letter to Betsey from Jo (p.289); Orchard House (p.365); ‘The World of Little Women’ family tree (p. 415).

► Buy from Amazon | Blackwells | Waterstones | Abes


Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

Andrews McMeel, 9781524861742. Oct 5, 2021.

The happy and carefree childhood of sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood comes to an abrupt end with the death of their father. The family is suddenly penniless and pushed out of their home, leaving the two young ladies with one sole hope: a good marriage.

Index to the removable ephemera:

Jane Austen biography (p.11); poetry (p.45); horse & carriage postcard (p.59); game of whist postcard (p.135); envelope and letter from Willoughby to Marianne (p.147); market square postcard (p.175); map of London (p.195); Charing Cross postcard (p.211); relationship chart (p.293).

► Buy from Amazon | Blackwells | Waterstones | Abes

Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

Andrews McMeel, 9781524861735, Oct 5, 2021.

Living in the moorland of West Yorkshire, and torn by his passions, orphan boy Heathcliff risks everything for his love of Catherine, and neither time nor space—not even death—will stop him.

Index to the removable ephemera:

Map of West Yorkshire (p.15); Emily Brontë biography (p.51); location notes for Haworth Parsonage and Top Withens (p.73); merlin information card (p.97)’ ‘Often rebuked’ poem by Emily Brontë; heather information card (p.145); black grouse information card (p.143); bracken information card (p.187); envelope and letter fragment from the ‘Bell brothers’ to Aylott & Jones publishing company; Earnshaw & Linton family trees (p.255).

► Buy from Amazon | Blackwells | Waterstones | Abes

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Andrews McMeel, 9781524861759, Mar 3, 2022.

In early nineteenth-century England, Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters are expected to secure their future by a suitable marriage. Though the new neighbor Mr. Bingley would be a good match, his haughty friend Mr. Darcy does not hold the Bennets in high regard.

Index to the removable ephemera:

fashion postcard (p.13); reel dance instructions (p.23); floral invitation to Bingley’s (p.69); map of London (p.109); waltz sheet music (p.133); envelope and letter from Darcy to Elizabeth (p149); Jane Austen biography (p.199); family tree (p.233); how to play whist card (p.250).

❦ This book is also featured in a video review and edition comparison with the Barbara Heller edition if you’d like to see inside…

►  Buy from Amazon | Blackwells | Waterstones | Abes

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

Andrews McMeel, 9781524861728, Mar 3, 2021.

As a penniless orphan, Jane Eyre endures a dismal childhood at the hands of her callous aunt and boarding school. But despite such adversity, she transcends the social strictures of the nineteenth century.

Removable ephemera includes:

“Jane’s World” character index; facsimile first page of the novel in envelope; Charlotte Brontë’s biography; facsimile “help wanted” advertisements; British Missionaries in India pamphlet; portrait by Charlotte Brontë; fashion postcard (p.155); letter from John Eyre (p.217); English tea cake recipe (p.235); The Governess pamphlet (p.363).

► Buy from Amazon | Blackwells | Waterstones | Abes

Emma – Jane Austen

Andrews McMeel, 9781524863074, Mar 3, 2021.

Rich heiress Emma is absolutely determined never to marry, though she entertains herself with all kinds of matchmaking attempts for her friends and acquaintances. Until she falls in love after all.

Index to the removable ephemera:

Letter to James Clarke from Jane Austen; Oyster Pan recipe (p.19); Charade puzzle (p.55); A Midsummer Night’s Dream playbill (p.57); rice pudding recipe (p. 81); Apple Pye recipe (p.175); White Fricasey recipe (p. 187); The Morning Chronicle newspaper (p. 237); Emma title page facsimile (p. 351).

► Buy from Amazon | Blackwells | Waterstones | Abes

BONUS: The Jane Austen Escape Room Book, or “Pride and Prejudice and Puzzles” – Marjolein Bastin

Andrews McMeel, 9781524876883, Jun 22, 2023.

A new take on Pride and Prejudice for the puzzle lover. The Jane Austen Escape Room Book combines the characters that you know and love with the intrigue of mystery as you solve puzzles and riddles to help Elizabeth find her way back to the arms of Mr. Darcy. 

► Buy from Amazon | Blackwells | Waterstones

Beautiful Books