This post was written by Dara.
We have talked about covers several times before during our read along, and I am a sucker for a good book cover. I was heartbroken when the publishers switched from the fine art covers on the original books to the headless dresses, as I refer to them, that grace the covers now. The use of fine art paintings for a cover was what drew me to pick up the original Pink in the book store because they were so completely unique from other book covers (especially other romance covers, which you can usually spot at a good 50 yards away from the heaving bosoms). So, when we came to Sally’s book, I decided I would just make my own fine art cover.
Of course, Sally has very specific requirements. She must have blonde hair; she must have that certain je ne sais…errr…, as Turnip calls it, that sets her apart as not another simpering female of the ton. And, of course, she must have a stoat. Once I had that sorted out, I headed to the Google machine. (What would we do without Google?)
When you Google painting of a lady with a stoat, what comes back is Da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine. And while the stoat is there, that is clearly the wrong era for Sally.
But, apparently, they did not make many portraits of blonde young ladies during the Regency era. And the ones that were made were decidedly not Sally. After searching many, many pages of search results, I had a few options.
There was this one:
(Penning a Letter by George Goodwin Kilburne)
Or this one:
(Young Woman Drawing by Marie-Danise Villers)
Or this one of Lady Emma Hamilton, who, incidentally, appeared as Mary on the cover of Crimson Rose:
(Emma Hart, later Lady Hamilton, as “Absence” by George Romney)
But none of them seemed quite right. Finally, I stumbled across Sally by accident when I was looking for something else entirely. But there she was, staring at me from the computer screen, my perfect Sally Fitzhugh.
(La Coquette by Vittorio Reggianini . You can read more about the painting here).
With a little help from Photoshop to give Sally her stoat, we have a fine art book cover for Sally.
While I was searching for a portrait to use for Sally, I stumbled across this little gem. For your daily giggles, I give you Sally and Turnip as little children:
(Bowden Children by John Hoppner)
What do y’all think? Which covers do you like better? How does a book cover influence your feelings or decisions about a book?
I can’t wait to discuss our suspense packed first week of reading with you on Friday! See you then.