Monday, May 25, 2009
The Impetuous Duchess
The Impetuous Duchess is #17 in the Bantam (US) series and was published in April 1975. Again, Francis Marshall creates 2 very different covers for this book. I've always found the Bantam one very lovely with the regency couple enjoying a stroll in the moonlight at a party. Note her hairdo, which is reminiscent of the 1960's! The Corgi (UK) cover has the couple fleeing someone and there is a French flag flying on the building.
The plot of this story is that the Duke of Warminster, while traveling in Scotland, accidently finds himself married to Jabina, because they lie and state that they are married to each other. See what happens when the duke who didn't want a wife, got the one he really needed!
In Scotland until the 1900's, you could marry by declaration which meant that if you stated that a person was your husband and he stated that you were his wife, in the presence of a witness, you were automatically married. These weddings were considered legal in England and many couples crossed the border to Gretna Green to marry in the face of angry relatives and to marry with haste. In England, you had to call banns, at your local church, for 3 consecutive weeks (which was the cheapest way to marry) or pay for a special license from a bishop, which was costly and out of reach for the common person.
This is one of 3 covers that has a figurine based on the Bantam cover art. You can sometimes find them on eBay. I believe they were made by the Franklin Mint.