One of the slides we had a brief look at in class was a classic example of Victorian book cover design, The Pencil of Nature.
This dates to 1844. What amazes me is the similarities and differences in what William Morris was doing nearly 50 years later in book design.
We still have an ornate sense of decoration, albeit an organic one, but there has been a shift from blackletter typeface to a more humanist transitional typeface (designed by Morris). Morris also uses a a more traditional canon (dating back to Gutenberg) for the layout of the page, instead of centering it.