Cover Reveal – of sorts!

If you’re going to start blogging, go big. Here’s the probable cover for Mistress of Netherfield. I have no publication date yet, but end May/early June is the most likely.

The detail is from a portrait of Madame Philippe Panon Desbassayns de Richemont (Jeanne Eglé Mourgue, 1778–1855), painted by Marie Guillelmine Benoist in 1802.

The painting is in The Met Fifth Avenue, in Gallery 614, and is available in the public domain for unrestricted use (I’ve cut the detail from the main image and flipped it horizontally). God bless The Met for its generosity!

The Met says: Once attributed to David, this portrait is actually by his pupil, Marie Guillelmine Benoist. David taught a significant number of women artists whose works were made newly visible to the public through the Salon, which prior to the French Revolution had severely restricted submissions by women. This portrait of Jeanne Eglé Fulcrande Catherine Mourgue, called Égle, and her son was probably shown at the Salon of 1802. The sitter’s husband, Philippe Panon Desbassayns de Richemont (1774–1840) enjoyed a successful administrative and diplomatic career under the Consulat, Empire, and Restoration governments.

Sad, isn’t it, that the only information is about the husband, rather than Jeanne herself?

While this image is a little early – like most authors of Pride and Prejudice variations, I’ve set it in 1811/1812) – since I’m just using Jeanne’s head, she makes a perfect Lizzy. Frankly, I’m almost as much in love with this portrait as I am with Lizzy herself.

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