Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Book jackets past and present

In today's blog

Katie Fforde
Pamela Kay

On a Sunday morning in May 2001, I went to look round the rastro [flea market] on the public car park of the village in Spain where I spend part of the year.

On a stall selling books, my eye was caught by a painting I recognised as being by Pamela Kay.

You can see the original jacket on Katie Fforde's novel Stately Pursuits on the left, and the style of jacket she has nowadays on the right.

Stately Pursuits, hardbacked by Michael Joseph in 1997, was Katie Fforde's fourth book, her first, Living Dangerously, having come out two years earlier.

She now has 13 titles listed at Fantastic Fiction, and is a well-known name in the book world.

I paid 750 pesetas for Stately Pursuits. The story opens with 24-year-old Hetty Longden arriving at her lover Alistair's cottage for what she expects to be a blissful weekend. Instead she finds him in bed with another woman, a circumstance he explains by saying, "I'm sorry to spring this on you, Hetty, but there was never anything serious between us, and all good things come to an end. This seemed the best way to tell you."

What a rat!

Although readers of a certain age will probably think, as I did, "Well, if he had never said he loved her, she was a bit of an idiot to embark on an affair with him."

Another book of Katie Fforde's I missed when it came out is Wild Designs. "After losing her job, Althea decides to develop her passion for gardening. When she wins the opportunity to design a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show - with the unexpected help of gorgeous architect Patrick Donahugh - it looks as though she may have unearthed a new man as well as a new career."

The jacket I'm showing, borrowed from Amazon UK, is the original one. Again, in my view, much more attractive than the one which has replaced it.

A book I'm greatly looking forward to borrowing from my public library is
The Art of Pamela Kay, published by David & Charles in 1993 when I must have been overseas, cut off from news of the book world.

From the Amazon UK synopsis : "Pamela Kay is known for her regular appearances in national painting magazines and the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibitions. She first exhibited at the Royal Academy at the age of 19, and her popular appeal is such that, in the years when a prize was awarded by the Royal Watercolour Society to the artist whose painting was voted best by the public, she won every year. This celebration of Pamela Kay's life and work includes more than 100 of her paintings, covering still life, gardens, flowers and interiors."

Comment problems

Two Transita authors who wanted to comment on yesterday's blog had problems leaving comments. One of them, after entering her password several times, thought she had succeeded but hadn't. I've had problems leaving comments at Susan Hill's blog. When time permits, I'll go to Blogger's help files and see what they have to say about this apparently widespread difficulty.


At 31 May, 2007, Anonymous Gloria said...

I left a comment on your blog of wednesday 23 May about the late and early hours of your blogging. After it was accepted, a banner came up stating that the comment would not be displayed till after the blog author had approved it. I assumed when my comment did not appear was that you had not wanted to display even though it was completely innocuous - I am amazed at the times you write your blogs, somedays 1am, others 4am. Maybe you have to approve of your comments before they are received.

At 31 May, 2007, Blogger Anne Weale said...

Gloria - You will, I hope, read in Thursday's blog why your comment didn't appear.

Sorry about the glitch. Always delighted to hear from readers.


At 31 May, 2007, Blogger Jane Gordon-Cumming said...

Funnily enough Elaine Simpson-Long blogged about the very same subject on her 'Random Jottings' a few months ago: I commented that I too much prefer Katie's older covers, but a young friend much prefers the new ones.

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