Back in the 1950's, it took a certain amount of courage to read historical fiction--not because of what lay between the covers, but because of the covers themselves. Some were decidedly titillating, even when the story itself didn't justify it.
Here, for instance, is one of my favorite vintage covers. The lass with the permanent wave is supposed to be Katherine Howard:
As anyone who has read a Jean Plaidy novel knows, the bedroom door is kept firmly shut in her novels. One wouldn't guess this, however, from this 1950's paperback:
(This, by the way, is a novel about Catherine de Medici, who is not known to have been quite so sultry looking.)
This third novel, another Plaidy, is one of my favorite vintage paperbacks. The lady is Elizabeth "Jane" Shore:
Incidentally, The King's Mistress also contains a page where one could mail-order titles as Sin Street, Cage of Lust, Teen-Age Vice, and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. How the Victorian Wilkie Collins got on the same page as Cage of Lust is anyone's guess, but at three for a dollar, the books were certainly a bargain.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Vintage Paperback Fun
I've published two historical novels set in fourteenth-century England and featuring the Despenser family: The Traitor's Wife: A Novel of the Reign of Edward II and Hugh and Bess. My third novel, The Stolen Crown, set during the Wars of the Roses, is narrated by Henry, Duke of Buckingham, and his wife, Katherine Woodville. My fourth novel, The Queen of Last Hopes focuses on Margaret of Anjou, one of the most maligned queens in English history. I am currently working on a novel set in Tudor England. I use this blog to post about history (mostly late medieval and Tudor England), historical fiction, and whatever strikes my fancy from time to time. Thanks for stopping by! The title of this blog, by the way, comes from the song "Evil Woman" by the Electric Light Orchestra. Back when this song was new, I misheard the lyrics as "Medieval Woman."