As a follow up to yesterday’s documentary that psychoanalyzed Vladimir Nabokov and his most controversial novel, we present an archive of the designs that have adorned the cover of Lolita since 1958. It all starts with the original 1958 edition, which was the most vanilla cover imaginable. Lolita and Humbert Humbert — they’re nowhere to be seen.
By the 1960s, publishers got a little less gun shy, and the covers, more risqué. See this 1964 Turkish version as an example. Or the image above, a Danish cover from 1963.
So what cover did Nabokov personally favor? Glad you asked. Long ago, we showed you some footage of Nabokov marveling over different “Lolita” cover designs. And, in it, he points to his favorite: this French sketch from 1963.
The Covering Lolita Archive contains 185 book and media covers from 37 countries, spanning 56 years. It brings you right up to 2011.