penguin classics book covers


The Many Faces (and Book Covers)
of The Phantom of the Opera

It is probably safe to assume that Gaston Leroux never envisioned the enormous and enduring success his potboiler thriller The Phantom of the Opera would go on to achieve. He lived long enough to see the release of the 1925 Universal Pictures silent-film adaptation starring Lon Chaney. Other adaptations for both stage and screen followed, but it was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s blockbuster musical that turned the novel and its eponymous character into a pop culture phenomenon; the musical is now the longest-running show in Broadway history. The novel and its narrative have become one of those stories that everyone thinks they know, probably due to a number of spectacular scenes and set-pieces—the phantom’s unmaksing, the chadelier drop, etc—used in nearly every adaptation. However, those scenes are surprisingly different when encountered on the pages collected between the covers presented here.

Top row: Gaston Leroux; an early French edition (1920) of the novel, the artwork of which has been repurposed for the current Penguin Classics edition.

Second row: Three vintage French published paperbacks with the one on the right using what appears to be an artistic rendering of the mask worn by Claude Raines in the 1943 motion picture adaptation, which bring us to…

Third row: Media tie-in editions!!!, Lon Chaney, the cinema’s most famous iteration of the phantom, graces the cover of this paperback edition (left); a paperback using the promotional artwork from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and its feature film adaptation (middle); a French paperback (right) for an unknown-to-me adaptation, then again, it might just be a photo cover meant to evoke one of the countless cinematic, theatrical, or television versions.

Fourth row: Three covers in plush red-velvet hues, including the only one here to make reference to the infamous chandelier scene (left) and the current French paperback edition (right). 

Fifth row: The  Greg Hildebrandt-illustrated edition published in the mid-1980s, featuring the masquerade ball scene on its cover; right, an interior illustration from this edition of the narrative’s most famous moment—Christine unmasking the Phantom as he plays the organ.

Bottom row: Modern Library’s paperback edition (left) features a dapper gentleman in opera dress but otherwise makes no reference to the story on the pages within. Spoiler alert, Puffin Classics! Its cover image (middle) is the Phantom Erik’s unmasked face, while the Bantam Classics edition (right) draws upon yet another iconic scene from the narrative, the Phantom ferrying Christine across the subterranean lake that lies beneath the Paris Opera House.


Oh, thanks. I got tagged here. Goal achieved. 🎉 So I was tagged by @bookwyrm00. Thanks, again. To the few people I’m going to tag at the end, you m u s t answer what’s below truthfully. The things in parenthesis are just extra info. Don’t worry about those.

1.- Sing: Sagittarius, November 29th (Snake in Chinese Year)

2.- Height: 5'7"+

3.- Nicknames: Way too many to say them. Main one: Estefonzii

4.- Last thing Googled: Barnes and Noble Collectible Editions, Penguin Clothbound Editions, or classic books hard covers. (I’m sorry. I don’t remember quite clearly and I always erase my history. I just remember it was one of those.)

5.- Last show watched: The Walking Dead or Scream.

6.- Any other blogs: I’ve got two books in Wattpad with some stuff about my life and pictures related to it. So maybe.

7.- Get asks regularly: Not at all. In fact, the only person who sends me asks is a guy/girl/he/she/they that I call “Unicorn” and Unicorn only sends me asks every seven pink full eclipses.

8.- Gender: Girl.

9.- Pokémon team: I don’t know about Pokémon. I’m sorry.

10.- Favourite colours: Pastel pink, dark green, rose gold, black, white (even if they’re not considered colours) and transparent (even if it isn’t a colour).

11.- Average amount of sleep: 5 hours (according to my phone but it is always variating).

12.- Favourite characters: (I don’t know.) Tate Langdon from AHS (American Horror Story), Jay from Mine (A book on Wattpad by KyWalters), Audrey from Scream (A show from Netflix), L from Death Note (A manga/anime), and more.

@0zea0 (Te quero.)
@thatguy0902 (Hello Darth Vader.)
@hikaricarriedo (Hey! 🌸)

And that’s it. I don’t have a lot of people. I’m sorry I’m not liked. 🙃🙂

I totally forgot, whomever likes this post will get tagged in the next tag I get (if I ever get another one, of fucking course).

Thinking about high school now is difficult for me, because it makes me want to mourn for the potential and intelligence I had back then. Despite that, I had a flashback today to when I was completing my final exams and I was emailing my extension English teacher some practice essays or something. She replied with some feedback and also added a little comment about how she was watching a Spider-Man film on TV and that I reminded her of Kirsten Dunst. I know it is no way an accurate comparison, but it still makes me smile now, because I was at that joke of a private school since kindergarten and not one other teacher ever took me seriously or made me feel noticed.

This same teacher gave me a great reference when I was applying to residential colleges. For the final parent and teacher interviews, my Dad seemed kind of annoyed because of how well she spoke of me. She painted all of us individual Penguin Classic book covers with a quote on the back as a parting gift.

Over the course, most of my peers hated her. I heard multiple male teachers make fun of her for being annoyed that her kid was told to play a Barbie game at school whilst the boys played a different game. She told me that a male teacher once asked her if she was a lesbian because she cut her hair short.

She was in a small town, at a conservative school, and was trying to keep her voice. I had given up my voice in year 7, but in her class I was able to put my hand up, say something, and be heard. I am sure I came across as annoying but at least I felt somewhat confident for once.

I would kill to have someone believe in me like that again.