Friday, September 21, 2007


I seem to be blogging every day

How did I allow this to happen? I must take a break for the weekend. But before that, here are two more frivolous and rather darling little book covers. Speaking of Margaret Armstrong, here's one of hers I found in an antiques group shop many years ago, for a few dollars. The Fortunes of Fifi by Molly Elliot Seawell (Bobbs-Merrill 1903). It's so sweet and girly, I couldn't resist these creamy swags of flowers and gilding:

Just the thing to leave casually on top of your marble-top French Empire dressing table, should you happen to have one handy. The story is terrible, nearly unreadable, I'm sorry to say. A cross between La Bohème and a Colette story gone wrong. It does have a happy ending, though - the ingenue actress nets the man of her heart, with some help from Napoleon and Josephine. I do like the tiny initials MA in the lower right hand corner of the front cover, just discernible in the bottom bit of the cream ribbon. And the book's endpapers nicely match the cover flowers. But I see from the title page that the author wrote another book entitled The Sprightly Romance of Marsac. Heaven help us.

Let's turn to something more practical and workmanlike. I can't tell if this novel is set in the United States or in England - locale is never mentioned - (correction, Sauchiehall Street is mentioned, so they are courting in Glasgow, Scotland) but the heroine is decidedly less frou-frou, from her name to her leisure occupation:

Ethel by J.J. Bell (Harper 1903). Another romance, this one made up almost entirely of dialogue in a sparkling-witty-banter-manner between Ethel and her fiancé. And there is actually a chapter which involves fly-fishing, barely. I don't know who designed this cover, but I love her red skirt and hat, white shirt, and little creel, against the brown buckram cloth (she looks very J. Peterman). And I like her ugly-stepsister name, too, not your usual moniker for a romantic heroine. Not Fifi.

Back on Monday.

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