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The Ruthless Rake by Barbara Cartland
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The Ruthless Rake

by Barbara Cartland

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Francis Marshall paints 2 very different scenes for the covers of these books with the Bantam one set in Newgate Prison, London's worst jail. Syringa, the heroine, is wrongfully imprisoned because her friendship with Lord Rothingham threatens Lady Elaine, who trumps up the charges after he refuses to marry her. Note the fact that the ugly warden is carrying off her dress: at this time, if you were incarcerated, you had to pay for your food, drink, and necessities, or have friends bring them to you. She is obviously selling her dress to pay for items. Note, her underdress and how beautifully it's trimmed. Women spent much time and effort either making their own underthings or wealthy women bought or had a special sewing maid create them. This was a time before store bought and sewing machines, so everything would be sewn by hand. Women could earn money sewing for others.

The Pan cover shows a scene where the couple meet, in the country while the heroine sits on a log and the hero speaks to her. Syringa is distraught that her horse is being sold. Her father has great debts and household items are being liquidated. It's a beautiful and much peaceful cover than the Bantam one! The hero is dressed for riding and carries a crop while his horse grazes in the background. ( )
  janineshroff | Aug 4, 2010 |
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The Earl of Rothingham was a rake, an unrepentant rake. All of eighteenth-century England declared him so after he refuses a request from the Prince of Wales requested to marry his mistress--Lady Elaine Wilmot-- to choose himself a bride and leaves the splendours of Carlton House for his country estate.

But the Earl was not a cruel man. And when, while riding in the country woods one day, this cynical autocrat came upon a lady in distress his heart was touched. The lady was lovely Syringa Melton-- young, innocent and ethereally beautiful. Hard times had fallen on her family and she was forced to give up her most cherished possessions. She had broken-hearted at the prospect of having to lose her white stallion, Mercury, to meet the debts of a dissolute father.

Out of kindness and pity, the Earl brought Syringa to London to start a new lift. But it was a grave mistake. Lady Elaine was waiting for Syringa--waiting to trap her in a bitter and treacherous web of jealousy, intrigue and near death. Syringa goes to the glittering salons of London to the horrors of Newgate Prison.
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