The online "Beauty for Commerce" exhibition at the University of Rochester features some beautiful book cover and spine designs from the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Some examples include:
• Amelia B. Edwards, Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys (1890). Bestselling novelist and explorer Edwards was one of the inspirations for Elizabeth Peters's Amelia Peabody Emerson.
• A. E. W. Mason and Andrew Lang, Parson Kelly (1899). Liberal Member of Parliament Mason is well remembered for the novels The Four Feathers (1902) and Fire Over England (1936), but he also created Inspector Hanaud (At the Villa Rose, etc.). Writer-critic Lang is best known for his various volumes of fairy tales.
• Frank R. Stockton, Afield and Afloat (1900) and Mrs. Clift's Yacht (1896). Stockton is probably best known for the short story "The Lady or the Tiger?" (1884).
About the image: Amelia B. Edwards, NYPL