I am excited to finally share the cover with you guys!! I can just imagine Harriet's apprehension as she comes up those stairs and out into the bright stage lights.
BUT WAIT--I know what some of you Regency purists are thinking. That cover is so far from historically accurate it's insane! And you'd be right. But I've fallen in love with this cover because I see it symbolically. Obviously a young Regency socialite would never be un-gloved with hair down at any occasion formal enough for a train (and how would she dance??), but I don't see this as a scene directly from the book. I see it as a representation of Harriet's inner feelings throughout her dramatic adventure.
The red satin pooling down the steps is like a luxurious stage curtain. The stairs represent both social elevation and the limelight that Harriet is thrust into during act two. Her hands aren't gloved, her hair is down: she is herself when no one is around. In the image she is unaccompanied, showing her just as alone as she often feels on her often awkward adventure. Her "audience" is obscured from view by mystery, but her overall outlook of the future is bright, so although her tense hands show some apprehension, her bearing is proud and she is ready to carry herself to new heights.
I hope that you can learn to love this book (and it's cover!) as I have, and that it can help brighten your day, as it has brightened many of mine. I'm excited for you to be able to read it!
P.S. I think her little tush is quite fetching, too. Don't you? :)