Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Fire of Love

The Fire of Love is an Arrow (UK) publication and my copy is from 1972. Carina takes a position as governess but is pulled into an intrigue after she is commissioned to deliver a young boy to his father. What follows is a story of intrigue that twists and turns into a story of love!

Francis Marshall creates a dramatic cover for this book with our heroine in a stark black gown, standing over a smoking revolver! The hero runs up behind her and we see the feet of the victim on the floor! The colors in the cover are evocative of the title: Fire of Love! Click to enlarge!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Escape From Passion

I have an August 1977 Pyramid edition of Escape from Passion! Fleur is a victim of WW2 and its horrors. She joins the household of Sir Norman Mitcham for a job and finds herself falling in love with him, but can he love her in return?

Francis Marshall creates a pretty cover for this book, which is set during WW2. Our heroine is blonde and pretty in a pink blouse while our hero is dashing in a black suit. The room they stand in is almost indistinct. Very hazy looking.

This is one of Cartland's more serious romances. Cartland herself lived through WW2 and lost both of her brothers in the conflict. It isn't as light and fluffy as others.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Enchanted Waltz

The Enchanted Waltz copy I have was published by Arrow (UK) in 1975. This story is set during the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Wanda Schonborn is orphaned and sent by her mother to live with the Prince Clement de Metternich. The prince realizes that she is his illegitimate daughter and decides to use her to further his quest for power in Europe. While there, she meets the dashing Englishman, Richard Melton, also there on a mysterious mission!

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple at an elegant ball. Our heroine is pretty in white trimmed in blue and our hero's coat compliments her dress. I like the fluidity of motion of their dancing. The other couples in the background are interesting to view, also! It's a pretty cover and very typical of Marshall's work in the 1970's.

The Congress of Vienna was held in Vienna, Austria in 1815 to put Europe back together after the first capture of Napoleon. He would later escape and fight one last battle at Waterloo before a final surrender.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Enchanted Moment

The Enchanted Moment was published by Arrow (UK) in 1971 and Pyramid (US) in 1976.

This is a story about Sally St. Vincent, who leaves the countryside after her aunts death and travels to London to live with her mother, the actress Lynn Lystell. Secrets abound when she is engaged to Anthony Thorne, but attracted to his brother, Guy!

Francis Marshall illustrates both covers for this book and the Arrow one shows our couple outside. They are dressed rather formally and seem to have been walking. I like the dog on this cover, which is unusual!

The Pyramid cover has the hero in a knights armor, which seems very funny! Our heroine is simply dressed in a sweater and they seem to be walking over rough terrain in a dark forest. I like how her clothes and haircut are in fashion NOW!

Cartland trivia: Barbara usually used names that ended in "a" for her heroines and this is one of the few books that didn't!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Enchanting Evil

The Enchanting Evil is next in our Barbara Cartland series featuring the artistic covers of Francis Marshall! This book has three different FM illustrations.

The Enchanting Evil is the story of Melinda, who escapes her relations and goes to London in search of work. What she finds is an extraordinary offer to pose as the wife of the Marquis of Chard! Can she escape the evil following her and find love?

The Arrow (UK) cover shows our couple sitting on a sofa. Our heroine is pretty in white trimmed in blue and dressed in the fashions of the mid 1800's. Our hero gazes at her and we also see others sitting at a table, either eating or playing a game. This cover seems more "quickly drawn" than the US version below it. This edition was published in 1970.

The Jove (US) version was published in 1978 and is essentially the same pose and picture in the UK book. I think that it's better drawn, smaller, and more intimate. We see the sweet expression on the heroine's face and the tender look that the hero gives her. There are also others in the background, but they are standing. The green sofa and palm tree are in both covers. Which cover do you like and why?

The third photo comes from an old hardcover jacket version and would be one of the first ones illustrated by Francis Marshall!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Elizabethan Lover

Elizabethan Lover is an Arrow (UK) publication and my copy is dated 1975. In the forward, Cartland acknowledges that this is her 50th book and dedicates it to her "wonderful mother, with all my love".

This is a tale of Rodney Hawkhurst, a privateer who needs backing for an expedition to "plunder the Spanish main"! He hopes to acquire finances from Sir Harry Gillingham and he consents if Hawkhurst will allow his son to join the voyage. Rodney has fallen in love with Hawkhurst's daughter, Lizbeth.

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple on board ship. They wear traditional Elizabethan male clothing and we can surmise that our heroine has probably been a stowaway. This is another of Marshall's covers that I think was done earlier and the heads of the people drawn in later. Look at the heroine's and let me know what you think!

In 1588, Elizabeth's navy was triumphant in defeating the Spanish Armada, who had intentions of overthrowing Elizabeth and her Protestant religion and bring England back into Catholicism.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Duel of Hearts

A Duel of Hearts was published by Arrow (UK) in 1972. This is another of the novels that was adapted for television around 1991. Lady Caroline is saved by Lord Brecon from a seduction, but finds Brecon Castle full of terrifying secrets from which she finds a true love in the midst of gloom.

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple in riding gear and sitting outside with the castle looming in the background. Our hero is a regency buck in his top hat and long coat. Our heroine is bright in an emerald green habit with a magnificent hat! To me, this seems like many of FM's older covers: a picture that has been designed for a future book with the faces drawn in at the last minute. This may not be true, but it seems like the heroine's faces are sketched in afterwards. What do you think?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Dream Within

The Dream Within has two different covers. The UK Arrow one was published in 1977 while the US Jove book was published in 1978.

This book is about three sisters: Anne, Marigold, and Sally. After the death of their father, they leave the country for London to find romance, wealth, and happiness.

The book covers are interesting in that they show all three sisters and the suitor of one. In a sense, the covers have the same room and outdoors aspect, but the people are drawn differently.

The UK Arrow book has, like the US one, the girls sitting while the man is coming into the room. One girl reads a newspaper while another drinks a cup of tea. The UK book has our girls in very '60's outfits and has cleaner lines than the other. The man seems indistinct next to the brunette girl.

The US book is similar but seems more modern in clothes and furnishings. I like the purple setting of the room but don't like the brunette's haircut! The other girls are cute and personable. It's interesting looking at the similarities of both covers. Click to enlarge!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Desperate Defiance

Desperate Defiance was published by Pyramid and this printing is from August 1977. This book is a story about Vivian and two very different men who love her. One can't marry her and one wants to. She is drawn into intrigue and danger in the mountains of Tibet! This story was set in 1936.

Francis Marshall shows our couple high in the Tibet mountains where danger seems to lurk at every turn. Our heroine wears a warm fun jacket and our hero is dressed similar to the native men on donkeys. In the background is a compound of some sort. Marshall does a great job picturing the description of Tibet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Desire of the Heart

Desire of the Heart is an Arrow (UK) publication and my copy is from 1970. This story is about Cornelia, who is pushed into marriage with her aunt's lover, the Duke of Roehampton. It is a tale of life during Edwardian times, before World War 1.

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple at a fancy restaurant where they are formally dressed and enjoying an expensive meal. Our heroine is beautiful in a plumed headdress and full, low cut blue gown. I think it's interesting that she wears only one glove! Our hero is very handsome and intent on his date. Definitely a glamorous cover that I hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Debt of Honor

Debt of Honor (also known in the UK as The Smuggled Heart) is a Jove publication from October 1978. This story is about Leona, whose brother becomes involved and indebted to a local smuggler. Leona's only hope is Lord Chard, who has returned to the area to stop the smuggling on the coast and Leona may be the sacrifice either to her brother's debts or to her country!

Francis Marshall illustrates a wonderful regency cover for this book! I love the hero's pose of the gun and rose, seemingly to signify his desire to love and protect the girl that stands with him! The pink roses are lovely and the girl stands slim and slight in a simple white gown. We see a house in the background, but it's a beautiful cover with a very handsome hero and one that I think is one of FM's best!

The Smuggled Heart was published by Arrow (UK) in 1967 and while it's a good FM cover, it's not as attractive as the Jove version. I'm not sure why they changed the title unless they thought that US readers wouldn't understand. This copy has our couple meeting in a hallway. The hero has arrived and the heroine is anxious because of her brother's activities. It has more of a sketch aspect with the hero looking away from us and the heroine's face almost drawn into a previously made picture. It just seems rushed next to the Jove copy. What do you think?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Danger by the Nile

Danger by the Nile is an Arrow (UK) publication and my copy is from 1971. This book is about Romina Huntley who travels to Cairo after she hears that her brother has died there under mysterious circumstances. She travels there with Merlin Forde, someone her guardian trusts to help her find out what has happened.

Francis Marshall shows our couple against the backdrop of the pyramids. Our heroine is pretty in a long pink gown while our hero is very handsome in black evening dress. I like the blue/purple hazy background and the palm tree. Note his initials on the statue. My copy has some wear and tear, but it's a good picture!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dance On My Heart

Dance On My Heart was published by Pyramid (US) in 1977. It is the story of Fiona, who works as a dance hostess in a posh London club. She is an orphan and work is scarce during the depression. She is a lady, though, and turns down the unacceptable offers but is in love with a man who can't marry her. Can life turn out alright for Fiona?

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple dancing at aforementioned posh London club! Our heroine is pretty with her bobbed hair and orange dress. Our hero is a handsome blond with a rich dark suit. I like the background of the other patrons eating and dancing!

This is an interesting book since Cartland lived during this turbulent time and could easily have been the heroine of this story. It's an interesting read of the times and the cover of the book is amazing! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cupid Rides Pillion

Cupid Rides Pillion was published by Arrow (UK) and my copy is from 1970. This is one of Cartland's few early historical romances set during the turbulant times of Cromwell and Charles II. Panthea Vyne is rescued from a disastrous marriage by a highwayman. Years later, those at court have found this out and she teams up with a man who is also in danger and may be her highwayman!

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple outdoors where some people are riding. I wonder if the man on the right is Charles II? Our heroine is wearing a pinkish gown with an orange shawl. I would like to have seen a more polished cover; this one seems to have been done in a hurry.

An interesting fact about this book is that it was made into a TV movie: The Lady and the Highwayman! It starred a very young Hugh Grant, before he was a popular movie star! The movie came out around 1990.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Complacent Wife

The Complacent Wife is next in my series and my copy is an Arrow (UK) from 1974. This is a story about the Earl of Droxford, who aspires to become the Lord Lieutenant of the county, but can't be appointed until he is married. So he asks his mistress to find him a complacent wife, but he finds Karina for himself and then the fun begins!

Francis Marshall does a great job illustrating this cover! The story takes place in 1832 and our heroine is dressed in the fashion of the day with a full skirted pink gown and large sleeves and bonnet. Our hero could pass for a regency buck in his blue coat and top hat! They are at a race and the background is full of people.

It wasn't uncommon for people to marry for advancement back in the 1800's. Marriage was usually for social or financial advancement and marrying for love was usually for the lower classes, but becoming more common for society.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Coin of Love

The Coin of Love was published by Arrow (UK) and my copy is from 1968. This story is about Cleona who travels with her cousin Beryl to Italy. Beryl is engaged to Lord Raven and many adventures occur before all three realize that they love the wrong persons! This book is set during the Regency period: 1811-1820 and Barbara Cartland was my first adventure in reading regency romances, which I love to this day!

Francis Marshall illustrates a simple cover showing our hero rescuing the heroine. Her bonnet has fallen off and I wonder if she had been on the runaway horse? It's almost a sketch, but gives the reader the full feeling of emotion. Click on the picture to enlarge!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Captive Heart

The Captive Heart was published by Arrow (UK) and my copy is the 1975 printing. This is a story about Sabina, a girl from the vicarage who is engaged to a local aristocrat which will do much to raise the fortunes of her family. While on vacation to Monte Carlo, she meets a gypsy who makes her realize that she can't marry her fiance! Can she leave her life and marry a poor gypsy?

Francis Marshall shows our couple on a bridge in the middle of a city. Our heroine is pretty in a fashion of the 1870's and our hero is dashing in gypsy garb. His shirt is embroidered in red and looks very fancy and also sets off his sash! I like the twilight of the cover and the little star that he holds up to her. It's a interesting cover and a great story!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Broken Barriers

Broken Barriers is the next Cartland book illustrated by Francis Marshall. This book was published by Pyramid (US) in September 1976. This book is a classic lovers quadrangle about Carlotta, Norman, Hector, and Skye who all end up falling in love or attracted to the wrong person. Can Cartland fix the romantic mess?

Francis Marshall shows our hero giving the heroine a beautiful bracelet? pin? to match the other jewels that she is wearing. Her white dress and shawl accentuates the emeralds! This is a typical FM pose with a beautiful and rich couple. It is definitely a "pick me up and buy me" cover!

After her first 100 or so books, Cartland made a point of writing romance set in the 1800's and early 1900's. I would imagine that the swinging '60's didn't appeal to her sense of romance and it was easier to write of a past elegant time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Blue Heather

Blue Heather was published by Arrow (UK) in 1974. This story is about Moida and Ian and their romance with surrounds the mysterious disappearance of a pot of rare blue heather, that Ian's duke cousin is growing. Will they find the heather? Will our couple fall in love?

Francis Marshall illustrates a very highland picture with our couple at a river fishing. Our heroine is pretty in a emerald green sweater and tartan skirt. Our hero wears traditional Scottish garb. It's a picturesque and sweet cover!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Black Panther

This copy of The Black Panther is a 1972 Arrow, UK, edition illustrated by Francis Marshall for Barbara Cartland. This is an interesting, albeit odd, romance about reincarnation where the hero and heroine have a psychic link to each other. Cartland was interested in reincarnation and Eastern religions. Her biographies by Gwen Robyns and Tim Heald are fascinating reads and give us a glimpse into Cartland's interesting, romantic, and at times tragic life.

Francis Marshall portrays our couple at a ball with both wearing formal wear and other guests in the background, including a woman dressed in an Indian sari standing nearby. She seems ominious and slightly scary! My copy is falling to pieces, but I hope you enjoy this cover!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Bitter Winds of Love

The Bitter Winds of Love was published by Pyramid (US) in May 1976. This is a modern day set story about widowed Lydia Brant, who agrees to chaperone Ann to visit her mother in Cairo, Egypt. While there, she forms an attachment to Ann's mother's young husband!

Francis Marshall shows our couple embracing on the coast of the Nile in Egypt! Maybe it's a stolen embrace! Our heroine is pretty in a print pink blouse and our hero byronic in a light suit! I like the blues and greens of the palm trees, water, and sky! It's an interesting cover and I'm sure that the UK one is identical! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Audacious Adventuress

The Audacious Adventuress is the next Cartland book that is illustrated by Francis Marshall. The Arrow (UK) edition was published in 1973 while the Pyramid (US) one in 1977.

Druscilla ends up marrying the Marquis of Lynche after he escapes to her accidentally after leaving the bedchamber of the Duchess, her employer, and almost gets caught. The Duke, wise to him, insists on an immediate marriage, so Druscilla becomes the wife of a man who is loved by women. Can she secure his love all for herself?

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple in a full length pose for the UK book and a cropped image of the pose for the US book. We see the detail of his work on the Arrow book with our couple sitting on a settee. Our heroine is lovely in a yellow regency gown with emerald jewels and a feathered hairpiece. Note her flimsy shawl and pretty fan. The US cover is the same image just enlarged, so that you see our couple up close. I like the full length pose much better; what do you think?

Barbara Cartland wrote about 100-150 books before 1970, when her output became fantastic! In the US, around 1976, she was publishing 2 new books a month and some of the older pyramid editions were reprinted; some with new covers. I think the Bantam editions worked better because they were a new, numbered series. The Francis Marshall covers also encouraged readers to pick up and purchase. At her death in 2000, Cartland had written 723 books and her website: is printing out the 160 manuscripts that had never before been published!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Armour Against Love

Armour Against Love was published by Arrow (UK). My copy is a second edition from 1977. It is the story of aging actress, Christine, who discovers by chance that she's inherited a house from her past and goes to the country to retire. Once she's there, she finds a past love and 3 children to mother.

Francis Marshall shows our heroine closer to 20 than 40, but it's a pretty cover with our heroine near a stage door, advertising her profession, and a handsome man standing nearby. I like the girl in the background purchasing a ticket and the general seediness of the area. I hope that you enjoy this FM cover!