Friday, May 15, 2009

Jane Ashford: First Season

First Season was the first of 8 books that Allan Kass illustrated for Jane Ashford. This book was published by Signet in January 1984. This book is about a widow named Anabel who visits her mother in London and meets 2 very different suitors. During the regency, a widow usually inherited a jointure, or settlement, that would keep her in finances. Sometimes this had to be given back to the estate if she remarried.

This is one of Allan's classic illustrations. Note the heroine's dress trimmings, jewelry, and elaborate hairdo. She reclines on a chaise lounge; a piece of furniture usually found in a boudoir or private sitting room. Note that the hero leans over her, but is not threatening. One skill of Allan's that I admire is that he could draw bodily proportions perfectly. Many book covers illustrations during the 1980's had less than skillful cover art. Some were downright scary and ugly! I believe that the Signet line had some of the best cover art and, of course, Allan Kass was the best of the illustrators!

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