Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rebecca Baldwin: A Sanditon Quadrille

A Sanditon Quadrille is the last book I have illustrated by Allan Kass for Rebecca Baldwin. It is numbered 118 in the Coventry Regency series. Rebecca writes a lovely story about 2 mismatched couples who find love on the dance floor! This book was published in June 1981.

A quadrille was a dance with either 2 or 4 couples dancing in a square formation. As it became popular, the dance itself became more intricate. It was the ancestor of the modern square dance.

Allan paints a beautiful cover with our couple standing outside on a balcony while in the background you can see the inside of the ballroom and the dancers within. Our heroine wears a purple ballgown and long while gloves. Our hero is in full dress suit with intricate cravat and black jacket. Remember that Beau Brummell made the black dress suit popular. Many ballrooms had french doors that either led to balconies where a couple could get a breath of fresh air or down to a garden. Remember, there was no central air or heating at this time and the candles and many bodies in a room could get very hot. People were sometimes afraid of the night air bringing diseases and would keep windows closed.

Rebecca Baldwin named this book "Sanditon" for Jane Austen's unfinished book by the same title as a tribute.

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