An Online Image Gallery Offers a Look at Some Beautiful Dust Jackets
Strong Opinions on the Artwork Created for Her Novels
Georgette Heyer was vocal and particular about the artwork created for her novel covers and rightly so. She was known as a formidable woman by the publishers she worked with and she once reminded a new publisher of hers that 'Inkies (aka authors) were hell'.
She did not hesitate to let her publishers know if she did not like the cover art for her books and some images and covers of her books were vulgar in her eyes. She provided creative direction to her later publishers and the publishers of her paperbacks for the dust jackets of her books and set publishers straight when they were marketing her books if the pictorial covers were not to her liking.
In the world that Georgette Heyer created manners and civility were most important. Her novels were about regency society and her books took place in the 18th and early 19th centuries in England and in France.
Georgette Heyer understandably wanted the artwork for her regency era romances to reflect the contents of her books. As she had invested a great deal of time and resources to provide such accuracy, and as so much detail went into her books, she naturally attached a great importance to having her dust jackets truthfully depict what she so painstakingly researched and wrote in relation to her stories and to her characters.
The exhaustive detail she describes in her books about regency life included such facts as the exact dresses her heroines wore, the types of ties her heroes wore, how and with what the men blackened their Hessians (boots), how society acted or should act, what types dances were attended, what games were played, what society ate and drank and so on. Descriptions of snuff boxes and just how one was to flick their wrist in just the right way to properly take snuff were the kinds of detail specified in Georgette Heyer's novels. It was important to her to include these facts for her readers. Georgette Heyer was aptly noted for her meticulous research.
Bodice-rippers? Not by a longshot
Journalist for the Independent on Sunday, Sabine Durrant sums up Heyer’s books this way. “Self-control and manners are prized, not passionate abandon. Her protagonists don't fall madly, wildly, physically in love. They come to gradual understandings, to know one another as equals. Sometimes, it's almost despite themselves." In Faro's Daughter, the deadly Ravenscar 'began reluctantly to feel interested in the working of Miss Grantham's mind'.
As Heyer’s heroinesCredit: EGreen's personal copy of book - US 1st Edition of The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer are maidenly or already married and her books are sex free, any kind of racy images on the cover of a Heyer book was against her wishes and inconsistent with the contents of her novels.
Georgette Heyer strongly felt that ‘People who like my books, or who will like them, are not at all attracted by lush and abandoned females on the wrapper. Pan are now sending me sketches for proposed wrappers, [and] producing really classy jobs, which are most attractive, and they are certainly not loosing by it.’
Newer Releases and Book Covers Most Recently Created
New publishers such as Sourcebooks have taken this into account and have thoughtfully produced book covers with the story lines, character traits and period detail so inherent in Heyer's books to appropriately convey the correct dress of the day, the sentiments expressed in these books and other key elements and researched facts so unique to Georgette Heyer and to her books.
View an Online Image Gallery of Georgette Heyer Book Covers
For a really terrific collection of pictures of the dust jackets created for Georgette Heyer’s novels, there is an outstanding online image gallery for readers, her fans and for collectors looking for her books to enjoy. The site is older and has sadly not been updated for years but it is well-organized.
The dust jacket images are categorized into specified image galleries for her books by book type. The categories are as follows: Historicals, Regencies, Mysteries, Modern novels, British 1st Editions, American 1st Editions, Australian 1st Editions, Paperbacks, Miscellany, Book Club Editions (BCE). Cover art for all of Georgette Heyer’s books can also be accessed alphabetically by book title with novel titles A – B, C–D and F–G and so on.
Finding Used Heyer Books and Original Dust Jackets
Nice copies of Heyer’s novels can be found online via many used book sellers. Copies of her older first editions and reprints range in quality or condition from poor or acceptable to good or near fine condition.
Many beautiful copies of her novels can be found by searching the inventories of used book stores in person or by conducting searches online. Some original book owners may have used clear Broadart archival and acid-free book covers to protect their original dust jackets. Most used book sellers will use these covers now, as well, to not only protect their inventories but to add to the value of the books they are selling. This is especially true if the book is rare and has its original dust cover and it is intact. Original dust jackets and well-preserved book jackets will command a much higher sales price than books sold without covers or if books are sold with the dust jacket in poor condition.
Broadart archival book covers are the clear plastic book covers used by many libraries to preserve their collections and to keep books looking nice and free of dust, dirt and tears. Broadart has their own online shop where these book jacket protectors and other library supplies can be found and easily purchased.
Georgette Heyer Dust Cover Artists
Georgette Heyer had two favorite illustrators who did the bulk of the creative drawings and illustrations found on the dust covers of her novels. These artists were Arthur Barbosa and Philip Gough.
Other artists and illustrators included Edward Mortelmans and Henry Pitz. Alan Kass also illustrated many of Georgette Heyer's paperback titles.
Arthur Barbosa (1908-1995) and Philip Gough (1908-?)
These two British illustrators were Georgette Heyer’s favored book cover artists. Each artist depicted scenes of regency society, carriages, etc and likenesses of the gentility with art that was not only attractive, but also representative of the type of book a Heyer's novel typifies and was meant to be perceived. Each artist also created book covers with the art readers would expect from reading a romance novel or a historical novel. According to his obituary, Arthur Barbosa created cover art for Heyer’s novels for 17 years.
In addition to his covers for Heyer’s novels, Philip Gough also created beautiful illustrations for Jane Austen’s Emma and many of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories.
Allan Kass (1917-2005)
Credit: Allan Kass artwork used with permissionCredit: Allan Kass artwork used with permissionCredit: Allan Kass artwork used with permissionCredit: Allan Kass artwork used with permission
Allan Kass was formerly a combat pilot during World War 2, who later became an illustrator of regency paperback novels. He was an American and he created many paperback covers for a host of authors and for several of Heyer's paperback books. There is a Facebook page dedicated to Allan Kass and his prolific and attractive artwork may be viewed on his group page on Facebook.
Edward Mortelmans (1915-2008)
Also a British illustration artist, Mr. Mortelmans created the cover of one of Georgette Heyer’s last books entitled Lady of Quality which was published in 1972. It depicts a beautiful, blond young woman exiting a Royal Crescent residence in Bath, England. The picture shows the beautiful Georgian architecture of these residences in addition to a very pretty interpretation of the heroine’s likeness on the cover. Heyer stated that this dust jacket was ‘one of the best jackets I’ve had yet and indistinguishable from Barbosa’s best’.
Henry Clarence Pitz (1895-1976)
This award-winning American artist produced the cover art for the US 1st edition of The Masqueraders published by Longman in 1929.
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