Sunday, June 7, 2009

Frie on the Snow

Fire on the Snow is #30 in the Bantam series and was published in January 1976. This was at the height of Barbara Cartland's popularity, when she was publishing 2 or more books a month!

This book is about Alida, who travels to Russia with her cousin, Lady Mary, who is to marry Prince Voronski. Alida is treated as a servant, and not as a relative of the house. Lady Mary meets another young man on the boat over and how Alida falls for the prince makes for a great love story!

Francis Marshall paints 2 very different covers for this book. In the Bantam edition, our heroine dances with the prince. She wears a beautiful gown made for her by the palace seamstress and is decorated with star orchids. The Arrow cover has our couple riding in a sled in an outdoors snowy scene. It is very opulent and they are dressed in fantastic furs. Only the wealthy traveled by horse and sled in Russia!

Russia in the 1850's was a place of great beauty and great cruelty. Serfs were still slaves and the secret police spied on everyone. It makes for an interesting setting of a book. I always wondered what Barbara Cartland would think of Russia nowadays. She would have known it as mainly a closed Communist country. She set a few of her novels in Russia and I wonder if she ever had the chance to visit.

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