Penguin 'Leatherbound' Classics: Collector's Guide and FAQ

About the books

This series was opened in 2017 with a ‘special set of 10 hardcover classics’ designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, ‘that innovatively uses foil and a special new binding material to create a highly collectible set’. Additional volumes have been added sporadically to expand the set over the following years. The books have a repeating motif beautifully foiled on the covers and spine, an additional second related textured motif underneath the foiling, and a short quote pull-out included on the front cover. Titles are written on the spine either horizontally or vertically, depending on the width (page count) of the book. The Penguin leather-bound series matches well with the much larger Penguin clothbound classics, series, with a large overlap of titles and in some cases similar design motifs. The design of the leather-bound Pride and Prejudice is my favourite, as the choice of the peacock feather motif so clearly harks back to the beautiful vintage Victorian bindings that inspired this series.

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Are the bindings really leather? Are the books quality productions?

No. The ‘leatherbound’ name is a misnomer, as the bindings for this set are ‘faux’ leather, meaning they are made of a material that mimics leather but can be considered vegan-friendly. However, the bindings do feel luxurious to hold and look beautiful on a shelf as the foiled designs warmly reflect the light. Unfortunately, the bindings are glued rather than sewn.

How many books in the series?

As of 2020, there are 14 volumes to collect, listed below. There are also some variations between earlier and later printings (including UK and US editions, as the latter are usually released later), e.g. Frankenstein had teal covers for the initial UK release in 2015, which changed to navy for the later US release in 2017. Alternate earlier covers are also listed below, but as they have the same ISBN as later printings, you may not be able to tell which you are purchasing online without a photo of the actual book.

Penguin Leatherbound Classics - The Complete List

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Notes: Published December 3, 2015. ISBN 9780241256640.

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Wuthering Heights by Jane Austen

Notes: Published December 3, 2015. ISBN 9780241256589.

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Notes: Published December 3, 2015. ISBN 9780241256534.

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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Notes: Published December 3, 2015. ISBN 9780241256572.

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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Notes: Published December 3, 2015. ISBN 9780241256602.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Notes: Published December 3, 2015. ISBN 9780241256596.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Notes: Published December 3, 2015. ISBN 9780241256619.

*Original teal cover reprinted in navy in 2017.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe

Notes: Published December 3, 2015. ISBN 9780241256626.

*Original pink cover reprinted in brown in 2017.

Selected Tales by the Brothers Grimm

Notes: Published December 3, 2015. ISBN 9780241256633.

The Greatest Cases of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Notes: Published December 3, 2015. ISBN 9780241256657.

*Original green cover reprinted in olive in 2017.

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling

Notes: Published September 1, 2016. ISBN 9780241292723.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Notes: Published November 2, 2017. ISBN 9780241331637.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Notes: Published November 11, 2017. ISBN 9780241331606.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Notes: Published November 2, 2017. ISBN 9780241331620.

Alternate covers