Dear Cover Designers…

temptmewithdiamonds28londonjewels23129byjanefeather

What’s wrong with this cover?, you might ask, and – at first glance, my answer would be: nothing.

The gown is one of my favourite colours, and the diamond theme makes it all sparkly and pretty. It’s in the same pseudo-Regency style as most historical romance covers these days, and it gets bonus points for skipping the waxed/oiled/mostly naked man to go with the woman.

However…

 

This book is set in the **twentieth century**.

 

As in: this book is set in the century we were born in.

 

It already drove me bonkers how all Victorian-era historical romances end up with Regency covers, because:

1811

(Regency era.)

fourth-position-feet-wilson-analysis-country-dancing-1811illustrationofawomanwithherfeetinthefourthpositionofdancing2cfromt.wilson27sanalysisofcountrydancinginstructionmanual2c1811.regen

1861

(Victorian era)

godey-april-1861daydresses18611860svictorianfashion

1881

(Victorian era.)

tennis_costyme1881costumevictorianerafashion1880s

And – here’s the era the book in question is set. She looks a little different to the woman in the blue dress!:

Lady_of_fashion_1919

Two things are at work here:

#1 “Regency” has become shorthand to indicate any book set in any century in the past.

Which is annoying because:

#2 Fans of the genre are treated like they’re stupid.

It’s such a pet hate of mine, if you failed to notice! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Dear Cover Designers…

  1. Even worse, “regency” with a lowercase R. I am gritting my teeth right along with you. Every era has its own distinct voice and flavor, including the fashions. I have fond memories of days when one could tell the setting of a book from the cover art. Too often, i t seems like it’s either single color prom gowns, / WordPerfect style or shirtless dudes in plaid s.

    1. I know – unfortunately – that many people just don’t care about anything to do with historical accuracy (see recent historical romances set in the 1910s, where the characters haven’t heard of the railway, and elope to Gretna Green!).

      I obsess over every historical detail in my books, and am stressed knowing I’ve got some things wrong. If only publishers would cater to readers who cared instead of trying to draw in those who don’t…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.