Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Kiss of Paris

The Kiss of Paris is another of the Cartland books that has 2 different covers illustrated by Francis Marshall! The Pyramid book was published in December 1976 and the Arrow (UK) version was published in July 1971.

This is a story about Sheena, whose uncle has come to be a governess to the children of the Mariposian Embassy under false pretenses. When she falls in love, she realizes that she's trapped in a web of lies and dangerous intrigue.

The Pyramid (US) version shows our couple in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background and sharing a tender moment. I like this cover! Our heroine is a very pretty girl, dressed in clothes that would look modern nowadays, and you can see why the hero is attracted to her.

The Arrow (UK) cover seems set in the 1950's. Our heroine is pretty in a green gauzy dress and looks as if she's had an enjoyable evening with the hero. They stand near the Seine and it's a pretty cover and great city illustration.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Kiss of the Devil

The Kiss of the Devil was published by Arrow (UK) in 1970 and is the story of Skye, who despises all men until she meets the enigmatic El Diablo!

Francis Marshall does another illustration where it looks as if he drew in the faces of the hero and heroine at the last minute! Our couple wear riding gear and look as if they are in a small room of a hunting lodge. I like the bracelets on the heroine, which seem odd compared to everything else in the picture!

This is one of Cartland's earlier romances actually published in hardcover in the 1950's.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Irresistible Buck

My copy of The Irresistible Buck was published by Arrow (UK) in 1975. This is a story set in the early 1800's during the regency and is about Lord Melburne, who finds himself involved with a young girl named Clarinda, who hates him, though he doesn't know why. How they do find love together is the plot of this story!

Francis Marshall draws our characters as our hero rescues our heroine from a Hell-Fire club. She wears a white muslin gown while he is dressed in a bottle green coat with a red cape, used by the club members, thrown over it. The candles and incense burner give us the illusion of fire and heat.

The regency had its share of debauched practices, but none more violent than the Hell-Fire clubs, where people tried to worship Satan and raise demons. Decent people renounced those who participated and the clubs eventually died out.

Monday, February 22, 2010

An Innocent in Mayfair

An Innocent in Mayfair was published by Pyramid (US) in January 1976 for Barbara Cartland. It is a story of Maxine, who leaves the convent after school and is going to be introduced by her sophisticated Aunt Dorothy as a London debutante. She wonders if she can survive the fashionable world when she falls in love with a notorious playboy!

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple in a restaurant, sitting at a table and sharing an intimate moment. This book is set in 1923 and we see our heroine's gauzy dress and flapper haircut. Our hero is dashing in a tuxedo. She has a look of being a little over her head in this setting. It's a pretty picture and an accurate glimpse of London in the 1920's as this was Cartland's milieu!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Innocent Heiress/Knave of Hearts

This is another series of Cartland's books that had a change of title after the book crossed the Atlantic!

US: The Innocent Heiress
UK: The Knave of Hearts

This story is about Ravella, who becomes the ward of the Duke of Melcombe, to the astonishment of society! He is captivated by her and she is attracted to him. Can the ward conquer the knave?

The UK book was published by Arrow in 1968. Francis Marshall illustrates our couple outside at a pleasure garden, probably Vauxhall. We see them dressed in evening wear and see the fireworks in the background and a singer on the balcony singing to the people walking below. It's another of his covers where the faces of the people look painted in at a later time.

The US cover is similar in that it's set in the same park and we see the lights and people behind our couple. The hero looks almost identical in both covers, except for not wearing gloves here. Our heroine is petty in a blue cape with gray trimmed fur. She still wears a pink dress, but her hair is more elegantly styled than the other cover. It's a closer view and I like it better.

Vauxhall was the primary pleasure garden in London. It was very popular in the 1700's and until it closed in the mid 1800's. It consisted of a few acres of pretty walks and popular entertainment and food. Initially it was free to attend, but later charged admission. For people without modern conveniences, it was a place to gather, be seen, and be entertained.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Hidden Heart

The Hidden Heart is next in my series of Francis Marshall illustrations for Barbara Cartland's books. The Arrow (UK) version has a date of 1969 while the Pyramid (US) version is from 1977.

Sylvia Wace hopes to find a permanent place as a governess with Sir Robert Sheldon's daughter after a dismal upbringing as a charity child of her uncle's. She is concerned with the dowager's meddling and surprised at Sir Robert. Can he be someone who would look twice at a lowly governess?

Francis Marshall creates two different scenes for these covers. In the Arrow one, we see the heroine and her charge talking to the hero, as he's about to go riding. She is dressed in severe black, but it is a very becoming dress. Notice the horse; Marshall was great at illustrating them!

The US cover shows our heroine embracing the child while the hero looks on. It's a pretty scene and shows the love between the child and governess. My copy is a bit banged up, but you get the feeling of the cover. I guess the worst part is the orange title!

Hiring out as a governess was considered one of the few suitable jobs that a young lady could do to earn her income. Most English children were raised by their tutors and governesses in high class families and would see their parents at tea time or bed time. It was also important for children who didn't have mothers to be in the care of a good governess during their young years.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Hidden Evil

The Hidden Evil is set in the court of Henri II and is the story of Sheena, who comes to France from Scotland to be companion to the young Mary Queen of Scots. She finds a court with loose moral standards and meets a Duc who she is attracted to but may be using her as a pawn in a plot to ensnare a king!

The Arrow (UK) version was published in 1975 and shows our couple in a full length pose. Our heroine wears a beautiful full dress and holds both a flower and fan. Our hero is handsome in a yellow suit with a ruff. This clothing looks very Elizabethan! Note the instrument on the cushion and the guard in the background.

The Pyramid (US) version is similar, but we see our couple up close and notice how pretty the heroine is with her pearl headpiece and intricate dress. Our hero is handsome, but stiff and we see the guard and flags in the background. I really like the heroine in this cover and think it's a great picture by Francis Marshall!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Heart is Broken

This copy of A Heart is Broken is from 1975 and published by Arrow (UK). Barbara Cartland writes a romance about Mela, who is a Canadian girl that comes to England during WW2 to work with her uncle, but finds that he has died mysteriously on her arrival. After she and Peter, her uncle's assistant, get engaged, her former fiance returns to her! Find out who she marries!!

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple in an office. Our heroine is pretty in a warm red, fur trimmed coat, with her blonde hair down. Our hero reassures her in a strong, silent way. The office is interesting with a photo, a lamp fallen over on the desk, glasses, books, papers, and a telephone! It's a different and interesting cover.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Halo for the Devil

A Halo for the Devil was published by Pyramid and was published in October 1976. It is the story of Fortuna, who finds the Marquis of Thane after the death of her guardian and tells him a story that begins his successful quest of vengeance on his enemy. However, can he use her as his bait without falling in love? This is a great story!

Francis Marshall makes a great illustration of our couple! Our heroine is unique with her white hair flowing around her and our hero is dashing and handsome in riding clothes. We see a brick wall and the carriage nearby. It's definitely a cover that says "pick me up" and one of my favorites!

An interesting note is that this book's plot has a strong flavor of These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer, which is another great book!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Hazard of Hearts

OK! I got out of alphabetical order with the last post! If I can, later I will insert it in the correct place!

A Hazard of Hearts is another of Barbara Cartland's well loved romances! A made for tv movie, starring Marcus Gilbert and Helena Bonham Carter, was made in 1989.

This story is about Serena, whose father has died and she finds that her home is now owned by the Marquis of Vulcan. In order to preserve her reputation, she is sent to his mother at their home, Mandrake House, where she finds secrets and love!

Francis Marshall illustrates a famous scene from the book, where the heroine is rescued from an abduction by a notorious highwayman! Our heroine is dressed for a ball and is very pretty while the hero of this scene is masked and dangerous! I like the action of the horse and the quietness of the countryside where they travel. Great cover and a great story!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

An Innocent (Virgin) in Paris

An Innocent (Virgin) in Paris is a unique book in that it had a different title after it traveled the Atlantic!

UK title: A Virgin in Paris
US title: An Innocent in Paris

Why the change? Who knows! The Arrow (UK) book is from 1975 while the US Pyramid is from 1971

Gardenia's mother has died and she travels to her one living relative in Paris, the Duchess de Mabillion. However, her aunt has a lover and the young men that flock around Gardenia think she is looking for a lover, too! How she experiences heartache before falling in love is the plot of this story, set in the early 1900's.

Francis Marshall illustrates three very different covers for these books. The Arrow (UK) cover shows our couple standing by a trendy red automobile! We see Paris monuments in the background. They are fashionably dressed and our heroine is lovely in a pink day dress, complete with accessories.

The US Pyramid book shows them sitting at a cafe. Our heroine is wearing a pink day dress trimmed with blue accents. Our hero seems a bit less sardonic and much more approachable in this cover! In the background we see the Eiffel Tower! Both covers have similarities and it's fun to look for them!

The last cover is from a hardcover dust jacket version of the story.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Golden Gondola

The Golden Gondola is an exciting story about Paolina, who is half English and half Italian. She survives a shipwreck along with Sir Harvey Drake, an English adventurer who decides to help Paolina find a husband in Venice by her posing as his sister. They run into many adventures before realizing that they love each other!

Francis Marshall creates an exquisite cover for this book. Our couple are dressed in the ornate style of the 1750's, which is very elaborate and decorated. Maybe they are going to a ball. Our heroine holds a mask and fan while the hero carries a walking stick. The gondola is fancy and may belong to an important Venetian. It's a unique cover and I hope that you enjoy it!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Ghost in Monte Carlo

A Ghost in Monte Carlo is one of Barbara Cartland's reader's favorite books! My copy is an Arrow (UK) copy published in 1969. This story is well known for having a great tv movie made for it around 1990 starring Lisette Anthony and Marcus Gilbert!

A young girl is taken from a convent school by her aunt, who plans to use her as an instrument of revenge against the man who killed her sister! She is taken to Monte Carlo, dressed all in gray, and not allowed to associate with anyone other than her aunt! While there, two very different men vie for her attention!

Francis Marshall draws a superb cover of our heroine looking over a balcony onto the scene of Monte Carlo! We see the casino in the background along with a carriage which may carry a special gentleman away! I love her gray bustle dress and matching hat. Just beautiful! If you have the chance to watch the movie or read this book, do so!

The second photo comes from an audiobook and the translation is for this story. Note the heroine's gray dress. I really like this picture, which is a Francis Marshall cover and wish they had used it for the book.