Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Frightened Bride

The Frightened Bride is #18 in the Bantam series and was published in May 1975. Francis Marshall paints 2 interesting, but similar illustrations for this book. In the Bantam one, we see our couple dressed formally. Note her jewels and his formal suit. The Pan version has our couple in afternoon dress with the heroine wearing a hat and carrying a parasol. Note the beautiful bustle of her dresses. This was very popular in the 1880's.

This book is about Kelvin Ward, who is broke and needs money to become a partner in an Indian shipping firm after he retires from the army. His uncle refuses him, but a stranger offers him a fortune if he will marry his daughter! This book is set in India. How Kelvin and Seraphina overcome the reasons for their marriage is the plot of this book.

Arranged marriages were still common in England during the 1880's in upper class families. As noted elsewhere, women had no rights and were considered property of their fathers or husbands. One of the most important American debutantes, Consuelo Vanderbilt, was forced to marry the Duke of Marlborough in 1895.

Most of my double copies are books published in the US and UK. Most other European editions have the same cover as the UK book, or one by a totally different artist. Let me know if you run across any other Francis Marshall illustrations! Barbara Cartland wrote 723 books in her lifetime and her website, barbaracartland.com, is publishing the last 160 books that she left unpublished. It's interesting that the new pink edition books are using some of the older Francis Marshall illustrations!

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