Have you ever thought that the cover of a historical novel looked kind of familiar? Designers are getting very creative with PhotoShop lately, but your humble blogger can spot a duplicate cover image a mile away. Most of the examples I've seen depict historical women. This may reflect current trends in cover art, or it may reveal something about my powers of observation.
A few years ago, I began posting examples of duplicate covers on the HNS e-mail list. Since then, I've found a bunch more.
I realize that authors have little choice in cover design. These examples are very eye-catching, so I have no criticisms about the art in itself. In fact, the images are so attractive that they've been used as cover art more than once. Sometimes more than twice. I mean no harm by this exercise; I'm merely suggesting that maybe, it would be nice if the art department was a little more selective when browsing through the Corbis collection, or in choosing classic works of art to grace dust jackets. Perhaps there's another image of Cleopatra that could work just as well? Etcetera.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these. Please visit Reusable Cover Art in Historical Novels: A Gallery.