Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Dangerous Dandy


The Dangerous Dandy is #8 in the Bantam series published in July 1974. Francis Marshall created a beautiful cover and I must admit that the Bantam one has always been a favorite. I was thrilled when I acquired the Pan UK version to see how similar the covers were. In the Bantam one, the hero is alternately threatening and comforting. Note the Prince Regent seated behind, ready to watch the duel. I've always loved the deep sapphire blue of heroine's gauze dress and her jewels to match! Many aristocratic families had inherited jewels that would be given to a new bride. Some of these were sets, including matching earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings, broaches, and tiaras, all of the same gemstone. The Queens Jewels is a fascinating book about jewelry, if you wish to know more.

This book is about Alina who is saved by Lord Dorrington, the hero, from an arranged marriage. Arranged marriages were common in this time since women legally had no power. A father could marry a daughter off to whoever he chose. Again, Cartland uses the duel in one of her scenes, which Francis Marshall uniquely illustrates, since we don't see the protagonist! This scene took place in Carlton House, the Prince Regent's home in London. Obviously, this duel has the sanction of royalty, since duelling was illegal and would normally be held outdoors, as noted in a previous post. At times, important men would hold immediate duels, but this was rare and against the normal code of honor.

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