Sunday, May 31, 2009

Call of the Heart

Call of the Heart is #23 in the Bantam series and was published in September 1975. This story is about Lalitha, who has been brutally treated by her stepmother and ends up married to Lord Rothwyn after her stepsister refuses him. How he helps Lalitha regain health and she saves his life is the plot of this story.

In regency times, parents had supreme rule over their children and some children were cruelly treated, not only by their parents, but sometimes by nurses and servants.

Marriages could be arranged quickly in England using a special license signed by a bishop. One could also marry at Fleet Street, but this was very improper. So was a runaway Gretna Green Scotland wedding. Having banns read for 3 consecutive weeks at a parish church was the normal way to wed.

Francis Marshall paints 2 very different covers for this book. The Pan (UK) edition has them on board a ship while the Bantam cover has them in a cave with a campfire nearby. I love the details of her dress and cape.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Very Naughty Angel

A Very Naughty Angel is #22 in the Bantam series and published in the UK by Pan. Francis Marshall illustrated 2 very different covers for this book. In the Pan edition, we see our couple dressed formally but in the Bantam edition, our couple wears Bavarian costume.

This book is about Lady Victoria, who is on her way to marry Prince Maximilian of Obernia. On her way to that country, she visits Germany and an adventure in Munich is where she meets Rudolph! Will she marry the Prince after meeting someone else?

Barbara Cartland only wrote a few books set in Germany. I think that the Bantam cover is very pretty, with our heroine in national costume. Note the castle rising in the background. Queen Victoria set many of her relatives on the thrones of Europe and Cartland takes this plot and writes a great romance. The Pan cover shows the heroine in a beautiful traveling dress. I wonder if Francis Marshall had trouble deciding which part of the story to illustrate and so did a few different paintings to decide his (or Cartland's) favorite! I do know that many of his illustrations are framed at Camfield Place, Barbara Cartland's home.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Tears of Love

The Tears of Love is #21 in the Bantam series of Barbara Cartland romances and also illustrated by the famous Francis Marshall. This is a rare book for Cartland, because it is partially set in Argentina, South America, with an Argentinian hero.

Canuela, our heroine, finds employment with Ramon de Lopez, after her diplomat fathers' death. She takes the job in order to prove her father's innocence against the whispers of treason and to provide her sick mother with money and medical care. How this all is accomplished and how both Canuela and her mother find happiness after this time of trouble is the plot of this story.

Francis Marshall paints 2 very different covers. In the Bantam edition, our couple is formally dressed while standing in the town square. She looks like a bride about to be married. Note the townspeople in the background. In the Corgi version, our couple is wearing traveling dress and hiding from guerillas in the mountains. Barbara Cartland was careful to set her stories in places and circumstances that she was either familiar or had studied. She kept most of her settings to England and Europe.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Flame is Love

The Flame is Love is #20 in the Bantam series and was published in July 1975. Francis Marshall paints a Paris scene for both covers but they take place at different times of day. The Bantam cover has our couple walking along the Seine wearing evening clothes and enjoying the moonlight. The Pan (UK) cover has our couple sittling down to enjoy a cafe or park setting. Note the heroine's scarf in the Bantam version while the Pan version has our hero's hat and the umbrella and bag of the heroine on a chair.

This is one of 5 Barbara Cartland books that was made into movies for television, if you can find this one! It was done in the 1970's and was cheesy if I recall! The plot is an arranged marriage for Vada, a rich American girl, to one of England's wealthy dukes. Cartland rarely had an American as a heroine, so this book is quite unique. An accident to her chaperone gives her an opportunity to explore Paris on her own and while doing so, she loses her heart to Pierre, an artist. Read what happens when she has to leave Paris and tell her duke in England that she's not marrying him!

Arranged marriages with rich Americans to the British nobility was very popular in the 1890's with the society mothers trying to buy the highest title for their daughters. Unfortunately, few of these marriages were successful. Consuelo Vanderbilt's to the Duke of Marlborough ended up in divorce.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Shadow of Sin

The Shadow of Sin is #19 in the Bantam (US) series of Barbara Cartland novels. Corgi printed the UK edition. Francis Marshall created 2 very different covers for this book.

Celesta's brother gambles away their estate and she is pursued by 2 very different men. What happens next is classic Cartland!

This book takes place in 1821, right after King George IV takes the throne after being regent for the past 10 years. Gambling was a downfall for many people and fortunes and estates changed hands. It was a sin that like a shadow, hovered over the innocent. Because women rarely owned property, they were subject to poverty and insult whenever gambling fever took hold of their menfolk.

The Bantam cover shows our couple in a conservatory. Many estates had a conservatory, or hothouse, in order to grow flowers and vegetables. I believe that it is a peach tree in the background. Note that the hero is threatening in this cover as he tries to steal a kiss, while on the Corgi cover, he is protective of the heroine. I like the gun in his robe pocket! Both are very beautiful illustrations.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Frightened Bride

The Frightened Bride is #18 in the Bantam series and was published in May 1975. Francis Marshall paints 2 interesting, but similar illustrations for this book. In the Bantam one, we see our couple dressed formally. Note her jewels and his formal suit. The Pan version has our couple in afternoon dress with the heroine wearing a hat and carrying a parasol. Note the beautiful bustle of her dresses. This was very popular in the 1880's.

This book is about Kelvin Ward, who is broke and needs money to become a partner in an Indian shipping firm after he retires from the army. His uncle refuses him, but a stranger offers him a fortune if he will marry his daughter! This book is set in India. How Kelvin and Seraphina overcome the reasons for their marriage is the plot of this book.

Arranged marriages were still common in England during the 1880's in upper class families. As noted elsewhere, women had no rights and were considered property of their fathers or husbands. One of the most important American debutantes, Consuelo Vanderbilt, was forced to marry the Duke of Marlborough in 1895.

Most of my double copies are books published in the US and UK. Most other European editions have the same cover as the UK book, or one by a totally different artist. Let me know if you run across any other Francis Marshall illustrations! Barbara Cartland wrote 723 books in her lifetime and her website,, is publishing the last 160 books that she left unpublished. It's interesting that the new pink edition books are using some of the older Francis Marshall illustrations!

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.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Bewitched is #16 in the Bantam series of illustrations that Francis Marshall painted for Barbara Cartland. The UK cover was published by Corgi.

Both covers show a very different picture of the couple. The Bantam one shows a gentleman helping a gypsy girl named Saviya after she has been knocked over by a curricle in a driveway. Luckily, she is only stunned. The Corgi cover shows a gypsy wedding of our couple at evening with celebrations in the background.

The plot of this book is that the Marquis of Ruckley is bet that he can't pass off a common girl as a lady of quality.

During the regency time in England, gypsies were considered by most to be thieves and outcasts.They were not considered citizens and had no rights under the law. Some landowners allowed them onto their property, but most didn't. Actually, Barbara Cartland did much to improve the lot of gypsies during the 1960's and 1970's in England! She was able to have laws changed so that the gypsies could settle down in one location and their children could attend school. They even named a camp for her called Barbaraville.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Magnificent Marriage

The Magnificent Marriage is #15 in the Bantam series and was published in February 1975. It is about Dorinda, who accompanies her sister from London to Singapore to marry Maximus Kirby. Dorinda has eczema, a skin complaint, which keeps her out of sight in England. In this story, she finds that the moist air in Singapore cures her ailment and that she is falling in love with her sister's fiance! How Dorinda is able to marry Maximus is the story of this Barbara Cartland book!

This cover by Francis Marshall is similar in that you can tell it's the same couple; only the setting is different. In the Bantam book, the couple is at sea. Notice the junk, or oriental boat, in the water. On the Corgi cover, the couple looks as if they're strolling through a bazaar. Both are very beautiful and give you the feeling of being in the orient. Note the white suit that the hero wears; this would have been common in the hotter climates. Our heroine carries a sunshade to protect her skin; it was considered beautiful and high class to have pure white skin because only the common people who worked outside were tanned. The English had prospects all over Asia at this time. It was known that the sun never set on the British Empire!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Karma of Love

The Karma of Love is #14 in the Bantam series and was published in January 1975. Francis Marshall does a similar illustration for both books, but swaps the couple in the Corgi (UK) cover. This books is about Orissa and how she flees to India to live with her military uncle and her encounters with Major Meredith.

This is a gorgeous illustration and I've always had a fascination with India which stems from Barbara Cartland's books and Francis Marshall's beautiful covers. Note the similarities in the covers: the sari that our heroine wears, the major's uniform, the cannon and fort, etc. The only difference I see is that the Bantam cover has our couple a little more tan, maybe to relate to the US market? Our Corgi heroine seems more fragile than the Bantam one.

India was part of the British Empire in 1885 and the British were trying to keep it safe from the Russians and Afghans during this time in history. Many spies flourished during this time and it's interesting that even nowadays, English is intermixed with Hindi when Indians speak (just watch a Bollywood movie)! India became an independent nation in 1947.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Sword to the Heart

A Sword to the Heart is #13 in the Bantam series and was published in December of 1974. This is one of the first Barbara Cartland books I bought with my hard-earned babysitting money in 1976! My copy still looks relatively new after all of these years, too!

Francis Marshall did similar covers for this book with the Corgi (UK) edition set in a jewel room of an old castle. I like the Bantam edition better since it's more colorful and not washed out, but that could be the condition of my copy.
Note his illustration of the jewels scattered among the table and the trunk and armoire in the background. Who wouldn't want to play with the jewelry?! The plot of this book is Natalia's marriage to Lord Colwall and how she is under the mistaken impression that he's marrying her for love. Instead, he wants an heir and the story is how 2 people who don't really know each other and have different expectations find romance. This book was set in 1830 and Natalia's full day dress with sash are stylish. This is between the narrow skirt regency fashions and the full Victoria dress.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Glittering Lights

The Glittering Lights is #12 in the Bantam list of books. Francis Marshall did a beautiful cover for both books with many similarities. Cassandra was engaged to the Duke of Alchester as a child and ready to marry him, but he wasn't interested and spends all of his time in the London music halls with Gaiety Girls. In the 1880's, music halls were popular places for young men to congregate and the gaiety girls were the singers and dancers that they took out to dinner. Cassandra disguises herself as a gaiety girl in order to attract her fiance. This was also a time where restaurants were gaining popularity and fine dining out was a luxury!

Note the beautiful green bustle gown that the heroine is wearing in both books. In the Bantam edition, she is seen entering a restaurant, but the Corgi version has the couple outside waiting for a carriage. I have always thought this a beautiful illustration. In the lower left corner of both books, you can see Francis Marshall's signature.

I am only posting Barbara Cartland's paperback books. Every once in a while I come across a hardcover with a similar illustration. Usually it's a variation on the same theme.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Castle of Fear

The Castle of Fear is #11 in the Bantam lineup and was published in October 1974. Francis Marshall paints again 2 different covers. The Bantam edition has a gothic feel with the eerie haunted castle in the background looming behind the scared heroine. I see this cover and want a pink, poufy dress! Others probably want the blond Scotsman!!

In the Pan (UK) edition, the castle is still an eerie specter in the background, but not as menacing as in the other with the couple in a different pose. The plot of this story is that Tatika, running away from an unwanted suitor, becomes companion to the Duchess of Strathcraig. Of course, her son, the current duke, has a tragic secret! Francis Marshall, in a few strokes, paints us a picture of romance and tragedy.

Gothic romances were very popular in the 1960's and 1970's. Authors like Phyllis A. Whitney and Victoria Holt had a large following and many imitators. Most gothic romances were clean and slighly scary; suitable for teenage readers. The Gothic was started back in the late 1700's and early 1800's with authors like Mary Shelley and Ann Radcliffe. Even Jane Austen penned a satiric gothic: Northanger Abbey, mocking the novels of her day. Currently, the gothic/paranormal romance is very popular and books like Twilight are geared towards teenagers.

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!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Ruthless Rake

The Ruthless Rake is #9 in the Bantam series published in August 1974. Francis Marshall paints 2 very different scenes for the covers of these books with the Bantam one set in Newgate Prison, London's worst jail. Syringa, the heroine, is wrongfully imprisoned because her friendship with Lord Rothingham threatens Lady Elaine, who trumps up the charges after he refuses to marry her. Note the fact that the ugly warden is carrying off her dress: at this time, if you were incarcerated, you had to pay for your food, drink, and necessities, or have friends bring them to you. She is obviously selling her dress to pay for items. Note, her underdress and how beautifully it's trimmed. Women spent much time and effort either making their own underthings or wealthy women bought or had a special sewing maid create them. This was a time before store bought and sewing machines, so everything would be sewn by hand. Women could earn money sewing for others.

The Pan cover shows a scene where the couple meet, in the country while the heroine sits on a log and the hero speaks to her. Syringa is distraught that her horse is being sold. Her father has great debts and household items are being liquidated. It's a beautiful and much peaceful cover than the Bantam one! The hero is dressed for riding and carries a crop while his horse grazes in the background.

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.

I included the photo from BC's website because there seems to be a bit of difference from this to the UK cover!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Penniless Peer

The Penniless Peer is #7 in the Bantam list and was published in June 1974. It is about the hero, Lord Corbury, who comes home broke after fighting in the Napoleonic wars and meets up with his former neighbor, Fenella, who concocts a daring plan to regain his fortune!

Francis Marshall illustrates a dueling scene in both covers. Dueling was an illegal but honorable way to settle disagreements during regency times. Duels were held at dawn at farms or town greens. Pistols or swords were the preferred weapons and that choice was decided by the person who hadn't provoked the duel. Both combatants would have seconds, or men who would first seek reconciliation and then attend to witness that the duel proceeded fairly. A doctor was usually in attendance. Many times, a duelist would delope, or fire into the air, as a way to retreat with honor. Afterward the attendees would eat breakfast at an inn or club. Women were not usually in attendance. I like how Francis shows the couple prominent in the Pan version of the book, but with others surrounding them in the Bantam edition. I've always like the heroine's yellow outfit on the Bantam cover, even though it was fuller than regency dress; the Pan version is closer to the style of the times. The hero is dressed in a formal style, which was sometimes popular at a duel to show bravery. Both covers are very beautiful.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Bored Bridegroom

The Bored Bridegroom is #6 in the Bantam series, published in 1974. This is the first in a short series of books titled for the hero in the story.

The Marquis of Merlyn marries Lucretia because his father has ruined and sold off their estate. Estates in England were passed from father to son and were sources of income and prestige. Lucretia is an heiress and marriage was a popular way to gain wealth.

Francis Marshall's covers are almost identical with the couple dressed as a French soldier and peasant girl. The book is partly set in France during the Napoleonic war. Lord Merlyn is a British spy. It would have been uncommon for the eldest son to be a soldier, mainly because he would inherit the estate from his father intact. Serving your country as a soldier was usually reserved for a second son, where other professions for other offspring were the church or law. Quite a few of Cartland's books were set in France though the books set there didn't always sell well in France! The British copy at the top is a Pan edition. In England, quite a few different publishers published Cartland's books, since her output was so huge.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Journey to Paradise

Journey to Paradise is #5 in the Bantam (US) series and was published in April 1974. What is amazing about these covers by Francis Marshall are the similarities: note the background is almost identical with the ship, building, parrot, and fierce pirate officer! I love the fact that we're strolling in a ballgown! Maybe it's after a formal dinner. The book is set in 1839; the beginning of the Victorian era, which explains the heroine's hairdo and crinoline gown.

This book is set in Mexico, one of 2, I believe, that Cartland set in that locale. Kamala runs away from an arranged marriage and met up with Conrad who is traveling to Mexico in search of diamonds. Barbara Cartland was a strict historian, so if she said that there are diamonds in Mexico, there are! Cartland used the arranged marriage plot a lot in her writing. Either a heroine is escaping from one or decides to endure one and ends up falling in love in the end.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lessons in Love

Lessons in Love was #4 in the Bantam series and was published in March 1974. The UK edition was published by Arrow.

Francis Marshall created 2 very different cover illustrations for this book, yet both are very beautiful and you can tell that it is the same couple in each. Note the similarities in the heroine's green dress, jewelry, and hairstyle. The Arrow edition has the couple standing near a desk while the Bantam has them at a piano.

The plot is that the heroine, Lady Marisa, is masquerading as a governess in the household of the Duke of Milverly in order to write an expose of the evils and corruption of Edwardian Society. During her time, she comes to care for the duke's daughter and love the duke. Read what happens when her cover is blown! Edwardian society covered the years of 1901-1910: the reign of Edward VII. The style of the heroine's dress would be closer to the 1901 date, by 1910 the styles were quite different (think Gibson Girl).

Francis Marshall wrote a few art books in the 1940's and 1950's. London West and Fashion Drawing are 2 of the most popular.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Little Adventure

The Little Adventure was published in January 1974 by Bantam and numbered #3. This book is set in Paris during 1869 with the heroine, Corinna, who escapes her aunt's house and runs away to Paris, changing her name, and becoming a governess. What happens afterward is classic Cartland drama!

I've always wondered why Francis Marshall did more than one cover with some titles and maybe someday that will be answered. It's amazing how beautiful they are! The hero, elegant in formal evening wear, and the heroine in a beautiful pink gown with a bustle, reminiscent of that time period. Also note her accessories: flowers on her dress and in her hair, ribbons, and fan. The last photo is the full length picture of the UK version and comes from a hardcover jacket.

I read from Barbara Cartland's autobiography that she wanted to create beautiful, inspiring stories to counteract what was evil and bad about the world. She once stated that people don't want to read about the kitchen sink, meaning that they want to read about a glamour that their lives didn't possess.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

No Darkness for Love

No Darkness for Love (#2 Bantam, second book) was published in January 1974. Again, Francis Marshall created 2 different covers for this book. The Arrow (UK, first book) edition has a couple sitting in a restaurant, while the Bantam edition has the couple standing in an artist's garret, with a painting of the heroine on the canvas, suggesting that the hero is a painter! The last photo is from BC's website and used for the Pink novel Money or Love #72.

Francis Marshall was a fashion illustrator and I've always loved the detail to the heroines' dresses. The bustle in the second book is beautiful and he shows all of her accessories: an umbrella and bonnet. I enjoyed these book covers especially since the dress in the mid-1970's was less than elegant! The 1980's saw the return of the country "GunneSax" look and prairie styles which may have been a reaction to the groovy, funky clothes of the 1970's. The strength of having someone like Marshall create illustrations is that he did many for magazines and newspapers in England during the 1930's and 1940's and remembers the beauty of the earlier dress. There isn't much information available about him, but the Victoria and Albert museum has some of his illustrations and notes archived.

The plot of this book is about a girl named Atalanta, who must choose between her cousin, Viscount Cottesford, or an impressionist painter named Paul!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Daring Deception

There are many readers who grew up on Barbara Cartland's books and I've always had an interest in the beautiful cover designs.

Francis Marshall (1901-1980) was a fashion illustrator that created much of Cartland's cover art until his death. I was amazed to find that he did duplicate cover art of the same title: on the top is the British (Arrow publishers) and below the American (Bantam) versions of The Daring Deception. Click on the covers to enlarge.

This book was the first book in the Bantam series published in the US, November 1973 for 95 cents! Cartland went on to write a total of 723 books and Bantam would publish 183 of them between 1973 and 1984. Barbara Cartland was born in England 1901 and died in 2000.

The plot of this book is the adventures of Perdita and Lord Melsonby who fall in love during dangerous times in Morocco. Cartland was famous for plotting her books in exotic locales all over the world!