Pink IV Covers

For the previous books in the Pink series, I’ve been posting the covers of various foreign editions. There were nine covers for Pink I and II and three for Pink III. Once we get to Pink IV, I can only find covers for the American and British editions:

crimson rose    Crimson Rose British cover

The original British cover for Pink IV was very similar to the one that Allison & Busby ultimately used – it just experienced a slight change in the color scheme.  Here is the original cover:

Crimson Rose British cover 1

I like the finalized version with the red accents much better.

I was poking around a library book sale (more on that later) this weekend, and I bought myself a copy of James Conroyd Martin’s Push Not the River. Check out Martin’s cover girl:

push not the river

She looks familiar, doesn’t she? Something about seeing her face repeated on another cover made me curious about her.

Lauren has an interesting post on her site about the original paintings used for all her “fine art” covers. For Pink IV, the painting used in the cover is “Emma, Lady Hamilton as Circe” by George Romney. This painting belongs to the Tate – it was given to the museum in 1945 by Lady Wharton. It’s currently on display. I think I’d rather like to see it. Evidently, Emma sat for a number of paintings for Romney over a period of about nine years, and this particular painting was one of the first. You can see a selection of the paintings on the National Portrait Gallery’s website.

emma hart

Emma sounds like quite an interesting woman. Her name at birth was Amy Lyon, and her first job was working as a maid in a brothel. She moved on to be a dancer, actress and model before catching the eye of a wealthy older man who kept her for a few years as a mistress. She evidently had a string of lovers early on which led to the birth of a baby girl in 1782. Rather than marrying her, Emma’s lover at the time passed her off to his much older uncle, Sir William Hamilton. And when I say “passed her off,” she literally had no idea what was happening. She left on a trip to Naples with her lover’s uncle, thinking her lover would join her later for a wedding and European honeymoon. It took her months to realize she had been set up. Emma must have decided marrying a man twice her age might be worth it if she could become “Lady Hamilton” in the bargain. While married to Hamilton, Emma had a prolonged affair with Admiral Nelson, and the two had a baby girl (Horatia – what a name!) in 1801.

It sounds like Emma ran the gauntlet between high living and barely scraping by –the same woman who could claim a close friendship with Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and Sicily and threw parties attended by a thousand guests started out as a maid and spent one of the last years of her life in a debtor’s prison. As a teenager, she worked as a maid to actresses in Drury Lane, but later in her life, she was offered a position as a company star by the Royal Opera in Madrid. She reminds me a bit of Amber from Forever Amber, who Sarah referenced in her post last week about The Difficult Heroine.

Anyway, maybe this is only interesting to me, but I think Mary would be pleased to have a survivor like Emma on the cover of her book.

18 thoughts on “Pink IV Covers

  1. She is quite striking, I can see how she ends up on all these covers. What an interesting story behind the model 🙂 For some reason, I didn’t realize that the cover was based on a real painting, very cool

    • Rebecca, check out Lauren’s link and you can see the portraits that were the covers for the first six books. It’s interesting to see the little changes that were made to turn them into book covers.

  2. I knew the cover was Lady Hamilton but only b/c she is on the cover of another book I own about her love letters with Lord Nelson. If you’re interested in seeing a film adaptation about their story, I highly recommend That Hamilton Woman (1941) with Vivien Leigh as Emma and Laurence Olivier as Lord Nelson. She first meets Nelson when he is admiring her Circe portrait.

  3. Fascinating! Thank you! I didn’t realize that she was Admiral Nelson’s Emma, unless I have forgotten ,which is possible! I am going to go back and check out Lauren’s link. I just love the covers. The fact that there is real history behind them makes them so interesting.

    I think that you are probably right and that Mary would like the choice of cover model. I also like the British cover with the red accents. My favorite cover is the American cover. I really enjoy this feature that you do for each of the books.

    • Thanks, Paige! It’s getting to be a bit slim for choice now that the only editions are American and British, but at least there are 2 more portraits I can research for the next two books 🙂

  4. Thanks for the information on Lady Hamilton – quite a life! This is why I love historical fiction so much – I get to learn so many things. I actually fell in love with this picture on my PUSH NOT THE RIVER book, which is one of the reasons I picked it up and read the flyleaf. Then I was sold!

    As for Crimson Rose, of course I prefer the American cover.

  5. Pingback: A Fine Art Cover for Pink XI | The Bubble Bath Reader

  6. Pingback: A Fine Art Cover for Pink XI | Inspiration in Creation

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