Help Wanted – Harry Bennett Cover Art

Harry Bennett artwork

Alex Henzel has emailed me this lovely piece of artwork crying out for a gothic romance to call its own. The artist is Harry Bennett, an award-winning painter and illustrator who created over 1,000 covers and illustrations during his career as a commercial artist.

I have quite a few Fawcett Crest novels (mostly written by Victoria Holt, Susan Howatch, Phyllis Whitney and Mary Stewart) that feature Harry Bennett covers but I don’t recognise this one. The more I look at it though, the more it’s ringing bells for me somewhere – I’m sure there must be a deliciously creepy tale behind this eerie threesome!

Harry Bennett close upThe piece could be a preliminary sketch for a more complete work and it’s beautiful. Harry Bennett has a very distinctive style – the lush sweep of a dress or cloak, the brooding, shadowed expressions combined with a vivid use of light and dark are all trademarks of his gothic romance art. Violet is such an evocative colour to use and very Victorian, bringing to mind a storm swept, winter’s dusk. I think this would make the perfect cover for an sinister vampire novel.

Does any recognise it or can hazard a guess what it was used for? If so, please get in touch!

Alex also has an amazing collection of vintage paperbacks which you can view at his web page Good Girl Art Vintage Paperbacks. They really don’t publish books like these anymore – I’ve spend hours looking through his collection already and I think the titles are almost as wonderful as the covers!

Thank you for sharing Alex!

Gothic Romance Artwork

gothicpainting

Can anyone help? Robert has emailed me with a scan of this original painting he’s acquired recently and he is trying to find the book it was used for. There is no signature but there is a number on the back (1524). The seller guessed it might belong to a Lancer publication, perhaps an international edition of one of Deanna Dwyer’s (Dean Koontz) gothics. It’s not one that I recognise but it’s an amazing piece of art and would make a fantastically eerie cover. Any ideas? Please get in touch. And thanks for sharing this gorgeous artwork Robert!

The House of a Thousand Lanterns

THE HOUSE she had dreamed of since childhood…

THE HOUSE where her worst nightmares were about to come true…

THE HOUSE OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS… the spellbinding new novel by Victoria Holt.

Jane Lindsay never dreamed she would be wealthy. Nor that she would fall in love with a man she could not trust. Against the background of 19th century England and Hong Kong, Victoria Holt unfolds the story of a young English woman who finds a strange new world in the HOUSE OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS…

Copyright Victoria Holt 1974. First Fawcett Crest printing July 1975. Cover art Harry Bennett.

I’ve had an email from Jess, who is trying to re-find a favourite gothic romance. She has a vague recollection of the plot but the title eludes her. From her description below, I thought it shared similarities with Victoria Holt’s House of a Thousand Lanterns but I don’t think this is the one.

Here’s what she can remember:

It involved a young girl coming to stay at OR getting involved with a wealthy household in San Francisco. I think I remember specifically either bothers or close cousins and while she originally was attracted to one, she ends up with the other. There is a costume party at one point where she goes as Qwan-Yin, the Chinese goddess, even wearing a wig of blue yarn. I also remember there being some sort of disaster, but cannot recall if it was the great fire or an earthquake. There was definitely an element of horror/mystery though.

Did think I had found it in “The Trembling Hills” by Whitney and ordered an old used copy, but while it had been a book I’d read previously, it was not the one I was looking for.

Any ideas anyone?