Friday, June 5, 2009

The Cruel Count

The Cruel Count is #28 in the Bantam series and was published in December 1975. It is the story of Lady Vesta, who arrives in the fictional country of Katona to marry their prince. Unfortunately, revolution has broken out and she is met at the ship by Count Miklos. Instead of turning back, she commands the Count to take her to the Prince. What happens next is exciting and unusual!

Francis Marshall paints 2 similar covers with our couple resting at a waterfall and eating berries. On the Bantam cover, the waterfall is on the right and not as prominent as in the Pan version. The couple wear riding dress as they travel and we get the impression that this is a hard journey.

This book is set in 1819 and Europe was trying to settle tempers and issues that had heated people since the Napoleonic wars. Other countries were trying to grab land and power. Great Britain was influential in solving these diplomatic matters and later, when Queen Victoria was on the throne, she put many of her relatives on the thrones of Europe as a safeguard to further political problems.

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