Thursday, September 20, 2007

Queen Jane Sans-Tête

This ARC for a forthcoming historical biography just arrived chez moi. Recognize the cover image?

8 comments:

  1. Mike S.7:03 PM

    Why, of course! Unless I'm very mistaken, it's good ol' Henry the 8's third wife, Jane Seymour.(The painting looks much better with the head, though, and even then it's not that flattering!) Could be a promising read.

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  2. Jane Rochford stole Jane Seymour's dress? No wonder the hussy lost her head.

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  3. I was thinking earlier that there really aren't any attractive portraits of Jane Seymour. This version omits the ugly headdress, which probably did her no favors, but I agree, it's still not flattering.

    For me, her jewels and the position of her hands gave it away.

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  4. I saw something reading the ARC on the subway the other day and it looked fascinating. Had no idea that it was a picture of Jane Seymour. I guess there are no portraits of Jane Rochford.

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  5. No, apparently there aren't any portraits that have been positively identified as her (yet). The author's notes at the back of the ARC (I sneaked a peek) say as much. It does look like an interesting read, though, as the author takes the stance that she's been unjustly reviled throughout history.

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  6. Can't wait to hear what you think of it. If there are no portraits of Jane Rochford, I think it would have been better to use a "made up" person on the cover rather than someone who really existed! It seems that anyone who is interested enough to read about Jane Rochford is going to recognize who is really on the cover.

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  7. Yes, I thought so too.

    This happens fairly often, the misplacement of historical portraits on covers. There's a well-known portrait of Empress Josephine on the cover of Susan Carroll's The Courtesan, set a few centuries earlier. Josephine's still recognizable, even without part of her head.

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  8. The book sounds interesting! I'm intrigued to see how she tells Jane Rochford's story.

    I love historical paintings on book covers, but it can be a bit jarring when a famous real person is used. I just got the cover for the May reissue of my book "Beneath a Silent Moon'. It's quite beautiful--a sort of collage of a period London river painting and a portrait of a woman. The woman is quite obviously a famous portrait of Madame Recamier, a portrait which has been on several other books covers. Interestingly, she actually looks not unlike my image Mélanie Fraser, the heroine of the book.

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