Friday, June 5, 2009

Mary Balogh: Gentle Conquest

Gentle Conquest was published by Signet in December 1987. Mary Balogh writes a story about Georgiana Barton who marries Lord Ralph Chartleigh, a man that her parents picked out for her. He was not the dashing suitor she herself would have picked and how she plans to change him after their marriage is the plot of this story.

Allan Kass illustrates a tender moment in the life of our couple as they walk through a walled garden. They are dressed in morning informal dress. Note how her dress blends in with the scenery and the touch of the garden with the rose at her waist. The hero tenderly holds her close as they walk.

Regency dress imitated the Greek mode during the 1810's. Lord Elgin had brought back Greek statues and tablets back to England and this influenced the style of dress with clean, straight lines and little trim or embellishment. Mens dress was influenced greatly by Beau Brummell, who advocated no wigs, bathing daily, and clean linen!

Allan Kass lived in Montana during the time that he created book illustrations and used the townspeople and ski bums as models! I hope that some of them have seen their likeness in some of these covers!

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