Monday, May 18, 2009

Jane Ashford: The Irresolute Rivals

The Irresolute Rivals is another beautiful cover illustrated by Allan Kass for author Jane Ashford. This book was published in February 1985 and is about Georgina who is ushering her niece Susan through her first season and realizes that she admires Baron Ellerton, the man that both Susan and her friend Marianne are pursuing!

This is an outdoor illustration probably in a walled garden. Note the ornate stonework behind the couple and the peacock. The heroine is holding a flower picked from a garden out of sight. She is dressed in a morning or afternoon empire gown; very simple in design. Also note the beautiful floral planter in the background.

Flowers were an important part of life in regency times. All great houses had a flower garden and you can visit nowadays and see great planters and gardens in Bath, among other places! Many ladies used flowers for decorating at balls, parties, and even their own homes. Men would send flowers to the lady of their choice and supply their partners with flowers for balls and parties, along with delivering floral tributes to someone they admired. It was common to receive many bouquets after a ball by the gentlemen who had danced with you. Flowers were among the only gifts a gentleman could give a lady. Even a cottage would have a vine or flowers in a garden!

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