Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gwen Bristow


I am related to Gwen Bristow through my maternal grandmother. She is a good author.

Until I read the Wikipedia article, I had no clue she was born here in South Carolina because I know she is a Louisiana "treasure" (oddly enough when searching for her online I came across a site claiming she was a "Alabama treasure" even though she has nothing to do with Alabama --and the first sentence said that she was neither born there nor died there, but she had ties there... that is a little reaching if you ask me -- I do know however, that my Bristow line is from Alabama).

I have some of her books, not all. I was on a kick about 2 years ago before Q was born where I was trying to collect all of her books and I was buying them on e-bay. I even have one that she sent my Great Aunt Bee with a letter on her letterhead. I guess I should read them. I tried to read Celia Garth one time, but got "side tracked" (imagine that, me, side tracked, no way?).

In looking online for some images to steal for this blog -- I came across some funny cover illustrations. One of her most famous books, besides the Plantation Trilogy is "Celia Garth" (which takes place during the American Revolution in Charleston). Below is the book that I have -- the original cover art from the 50's (this is the one she sent Aunt Bee).

Below are several other covers I found -- and I realized that the cover art really does influence your interest in a book and what you interpret the book to be about.

THE BEST ONE I FOUND IS BELOW -- it looks like a tawdry, dime store romance novel! The lady on the front looks like she has just been ravaged by the man with the sweet Colonial wig while hiding out in a cave from the British! You have to appreciate the cheese factor!

Funny that when you look at these 4 book cover illustrations, you get 4 very different interpretations of what the book is about, yet it is the same book under the cover. The first one looks like something you would read as a preteen (like Beverly Clary), the second some long aching British love story, the third some boring scholarly work you would have to read in college for some class and the last a trashy novel.

I came across the same issue with "Jubilee Trail".
The top one looks like my kind of read, a historical novel with a era accurate photo on it, well designed and the second looks like something that takes place in Texas on the "homestead" and has been illustrated by the same person who illustrates children's books from the 50's. All in all a very different feel.
Then I came across the gem below and was really blown away!
There is a cowboy beating the crap out of a Native American (complete with loin cloth) man with the butt of his rifle! What is this book about? For the love of Mike! Then I realized it was movie poster, not the book. But it was funny for about 5 minutes.

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