Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rebecca Baldwin: A Gentleman From Philadelphia

A Gentleman from Philadelphia is the second book illustrated by Allan Kass for Rebecca Baldwin. This book was published in 1978 and is the story of Annabella and Philip, who she has loved for years. He comes back from Philadelphia at the time she intends to make a marriage to save her family from debt.

This is an interesting cover since Allan paints not only the couple, but also an elderly lady and gentleman. Perhaps they are Anna's aunt and the butler?? I think the beauty of this illustration lies in the heroine. Her green dress emphasizes her hair color and complexion. She arranges a bowl of flowers while the others look on.

Note the lady drinking tea which was a popular (and still is) past time in England. Because dinner sometimes was held at 8 or 9 pm, a tea with dessert or cake was served around 4pm. Tea was considered a luxury and often kept under lock and key by the housekeeper or mistress of the house. Tea leaves would be reused until the flavor was gone. Pouring tea was considered part of a young lady's accomplishment.

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