Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jane Ashford: The Headstrong Ward

The Headstrong Ward by Jane Ashford is the second book illlustrated by Allan Kass. It was published by Signet in May 1983. The cover is gorgeous with a couple standing in an elegant room. Note the side table with books, a picture, and the parrot! Again, note Allan's use of jewelry on the heroine and the blond hero! Men began dressing in a formal black suit following the lead of Beau Brummell, grandson of a valet, who, because of his elegance of dress, became a leader of fashion and friends with the Prince Regent. Beau Brummell is the father of the modern suit. Up until this time, men wore colorful long skirted coats and wigs (think George Washington). During the mid 1770's, the fashion in Paris for men included makeup, fans, and high heeled shoes!! Beau promoted bathing daily and dressing your own hair, instead of wigs powdered with flour!

The Regency (1811-1820) was a time of very elegant dress for women with fashions following a Grecian simplicity imitating the Elgin marbles and fascination with Greek and Roman antiquities.

This book is about Anne, ward to Lord Debenham, who was about to "come out" into society. Girls had a season or "came out" after they finished school or were 17 or 18. A ward was someone who was orphaned and another had legal, personal, and financial responsiblity until they came of age.

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