I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of Family of Her Dreams, my first Love Inspired Historical, which will be a June 2015 release.
The Harlequin design team does a wonderful job with the covers for all three Love Inspired lines of sweet, God-honoring romances: Love Inspired (contemporary), Love Inspired Suspense and Love Inspired Historical.
When creating covers for Love Inspired Historical, the designers have to find a balance between historical accuracy and modern readers’ expectations.
On occasion, historical concessions are made. Such is the case on my cover. I spotted three.
One historical concession is that my Victorian housekeeper heroine, Tess, wouldn’t have let her boss, Spencer, see her with her hair down. A proper lady wore her hair up.
Can you spot two other historical concessions? I’ll give you a hint. They involve the children’s clothing.
There are a number of historically correct details as well. Here are a few…
- Tess’s dress is modest, and she’s wearing plenty of petticoats.
- Like most Victorian men, Spencer is wearing a waistcoat instead of being seen in his shirtsleeves, and he’s wearing a hat. Both items were part of a gentleman’s attire, even on the hottest of days.
- Little Luke is wearing suspenders, or braces, which were what men used to hold up their trousers in the days before belts became common.
The goal of the designers is to create a cover that will catch readers’ eyes and give them an idea what the story is about. The cover of Family of Her Dreams does both very well. I have a serious case of cover love!
I’ve received several requests to know what the other historical concessions are, so I’ll tell you.
One savvy reader pointed out that Luke is actually wearing a belt. For some reason that had escaped my notice. She’s correct in saying that a boy in that time period wouldn’t have worn one. He would have worn suspenders, which Luke is.
Another reader wondered if little Lila would be wearing shoes. Since babies grew so fast and since it gets quite hot during a California summer, I have a hunch not all wee ones wore shoes, especially those who weren’t walking yet.
While those were great observations, they weren’t the ones I had in mind when I asked my question. Here are the two historical concessions I spotted.
Lila’s dress is short. In most of the vintage photographs I’ve seen, a baby’s dress was floor-length, as evidenced in this rare picture of three Victorian Era babies photographed together. Note that one of the babies is indeed barefoot.
The other historical concession involves Luke’s trousers. In the Victorian Era, a baby boy started life wearing dresses, just as his sisters would have. In fact, one of the three babies in the photo above is a boy.
When a boy reached the age of four or five, he was breeched, meaning he was put into short pants, or breeches. Since Luke is four, he would have worn short pants. However, since modern readers are used to seeing boys in long pants, that’s what Luke is wearing. Although not historically accurate, he’s adorable, and that’s what counts, right?