Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jane Franklin's Potentially Beautiful Book Jacket

I was browsing in a book store last night and the novel Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin caught my eye.

Well, it caught a sideways glimpse from me, because the book jacket is, unfortunately, so poorly executed.

The cover art is gorgeous--it's from an oil portrait of Jane Flagg Greene (Jane Franklin's granddaughter) and painted by Joseph Badger in 1765.  The original is located in the Thayer Memorial Library, Lancaster, MA.  (I'm infatuated with 18th-19th-century early portraits of children, so much so that I embroidered two miniatures for my daughters as well as a "portrait".)

However, by placing an oversized piece of parchment (with too much white [umm, tea-faded] space) front and center, the portrait is sadly obscured (it stretches over the spine and back).  And there's just an unpleasant visual juxtaposition with the blob of parchment against the subtle background colors.

Would that the parchment could be deleted and the title printed on the painting.  Please do for the second edition, Knopf designers!

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