Historical Fiction Cover of the Week

I like a bit of a change so this week my regular Monday post, which recently became a regular Tuesday post, is out today, which is a Wednesday… But that’s not the change! Nope. The change is that this week I’m going to focus on not just one author [which I’ve done before] but on one book! Yes, I know, it’s ridiculous. How can you have any sort of comparison, you might well ask, with just one book?

Well, a single book can appear in several different guises. I can hear pennies dropping all over the place now – very soon we’ll be awash with loose change. One book, but several different cover images.

The book is The Winter Crown which came out last year and the author, of course, is Elizabeth Chadwick.

This is a book which I seem to keep coming across wherever I look and thus I soon realised that there were several different covers around. This is not unusual but I think the variations for The Winter Crown are quite interesting.

Depending on where you happen to look, the covers currently displayed are these:









These first two are for the paperback, I believe, though if I have got any of this wrong, I’m sure Elizabeth will set me straight. The third is the cover for the hardback and kindle versions and on the far right is the cover for the audio CD.

I have to say that I do have a clear favourite amongst these – and it isn’t the CD cover.


But first let me comment briefly on these two.


This cover is the only one that actually has an image of Queen Eleanor herself but it does not do it for me, I’m afraid. The theme of winter is conveyed well enough, but I am given a very clearly defined representation of Eleanor which might not necessarily chime with my own. I don’t think it stands out too well because the winter-friendly colours are not especially strong. Here the paleness of the background is, I feel, a weakness whereas it need not be. Read on…




The CD cover presents a completely different livery from the others with the emphasis on the ‘crown’ rather than the ‘winter’ – a pity in my view.


So, why do I like this one best?  I mean, is it that much different from the version in a darker blue? Well, it’s lighter…



As I have found so often, the reasons can be a little hard to pin down but if I look at the four images together, this one always leaps out at me.

You might like to try that yourself now – or not, if you’re a bit pushed for time…

I think there are several factors in play. The most important perhaps is my old favourite: light at the centre of the image. My eye is drawn to it. With the darker blue version, I don’t get that.

Also, here you have a dark border which enhances the wintry detail it provides and the gold leaves are more visible against the pale blue. It gives the whole image a crisp, clean look. In the other version I feel the light border gets a little lost.

I love this cover and I think it is a most worthy HF Cover of the Week.

But I’m certain that some of you will disagree with my choice… even so, hopefully my comments about the other covers won’t mean I’ve been struck off Elizabeth’s Christmas Card list!








This entry was posted in Covers, Historical Fiction, Medieval History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Historical Fiction Cover of the Week

  1. Hi Derek,
    I’d agree with your assessment entirely. The Sourcebooks jacket was made to match The Summer Queen which had a female figure on the cover. My UK hardcover for The Summer Queen had a female figure which Sourcebooks used but then my UK paperbacks went for a very different look. The new UK paperback is fabulous.

  2. The UK paperback is great – it’s such a fraught thing. I genuinely cried when I saw my publisher’s first go at my January novel, they’d got it completely backwards. Luckily they realised it at the same time as me and now we have a cover that’s fab but I know a lot of people who’ve hit a wall at this stage. Good luck with all the editions!

  3. speesh says:

    you will be doing an ‘…of the year’ post, won’t you? 😉

  4. Derek Birks says:

    Thinking ahead a bit there…

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