Monday, May 18, 2009

The Wicked Marquis

The Wicked Marquis is #10 in the Bantam series illustrated by Francis Marshall. In the UK, this same book was published by Arrow. Note the 2 very different covers that Francis illustrated for this book. In the books, our heroine, Orelia, is under the lazy chaperonage of her cousin, Lady Caroline. See what happens when she finds out that the man she admires is engaged to her cousin!

A Marquis was a British Peer. In rank, he came below a Duke, which is the highest peerage below royalty! The eldest son of a duke would be born a marquis. Usually the title came with a place name: Marquis of Bath, for example. After the marquis, the next ranks are earl, viscount, and baron.

The Bantam edition has the couple in a library or writing room where our hero is reading a letter written by the heroine. Her dress is 1820's, and more elaborate than a regency afternoon dress but not as full as the Victorian fashions. The Arrow edition has the couple in evening dress and in a moment where they seemingly meet again. This illustration is set outdoors or inside a conservatory. Many great houses had conservatories to grow hot house fruits and flowers. Both covers are very beautiful!

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