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.