Monday, May 11, 2009

Barbara Allister: The Temporary Husband

This is the last of the books that Allan illustrated for Barbara Allister. She did write other books under the Signet line. The Temporary Husband was published in March 1987. The plot is about a girl named Amanda who needs a husband in order to keep a young child who is her ward. She marries Lord Mainwaring in order to do so.

At this time in England, middle and upper class women had very little personal rights. Before they married, they were property of their fathers and after, their husbands. Women could not vote, work (except to teach), or go to university. The only profitable way to increase your lot in life was to marry well.

This is one of Allan's outdoor illustrations and it's a beautiful one with the couple standing near the ornate sundial. The house in the background has a Tudor feel with the gardens and flowers evoking a beautiful spring day in England. The heroine wears a typical day dress, simple and cut in the empire style while the hero wears a coat suitable for dining or travel. People in the country usually wore a more sedate style of dress than those residing in London.

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