Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cover Story: Green Darkness

Green Darkness is one of Anya Seton's most famous books along with Katherine. The colour green in the title has served to influence quite a lot of covers along the years, from the 1972 first edition to more recent ones.

Set in two different time periods the action jumps between the 1960's and the Tudor period. The main characters are having trouble in their current lifetime that is a connected to a tragedy in the past.
Another strong presence in the story is the house where the events took place, Ightham Mote, and some of the covers do portray a Manor House in the background. In yesterday's post Tamara Mazzei provided some interesting information about Ightham Mote and its history.

Others show figures dressed according to the time of the past action, also with a house in the background. This cover belongs to a set, the whole list of Seton's books were published in the same collection and we already saw the matching cover for My Theodosia in a previous post. I can't say this is my favourite this time. I think I much prefer those covers with a greenish colour that we see above, they look more mysterious...
I do like the new tendency to use art, namely paintings, to embellish the covers and that happens in the last two covers shown here but I'm not too sure that the portrait shown in the first (the Chicago Review edition of 2006) can really be Celia in her past and future incarnations. and the last cover (Hodder & Stoughton from 2006) also doesn't appeal to me. Not because it's not beautiful but because all that red clashes in my mind with the green in the title and my favourite greenish covers. Finally, the Italian cover is very plain and not very attractive, while the Spanish has a very intriguing design.

What about you? Do you have a favourite or a least favourite to share? If you own a copy does it have a different cover art?


  1. I seriously need to read this, never have!

  2. I love these old covers. Can't wait until you get to Devil Water :)

  3. That's a lot of green, which makes sense. That red dress really does look out of place. Maybe it relates to something inside the novel.

    Now I know more about this book I really want to read it.

  4. My copy , which I no longer have, had the second cover so its the one I immediately relate to. I loved this story.

  5. My copy has the cover number 6, which I love but it does look out of place among all that green. I have to confess the Spanish one holds my attention. Can't stop looking at it!

  6. Loving this novel is reason enough to want to see it as a movie. Since we're both screenwriters, that's just what we have decided to do. We've got the rights and we're starting on the script. But can we get it right? Let's start the discussion! Give us your ideas!

  7. Oh I would love to see a Green Darkness movie. I think I have to reread it and refresh my memory though. Any thoughts on the actors for the main roles or is it too soon?

  8. We're thinking about casting for the roles of Celia and Richard /Stephen. Not that we get to choose who ultimately plays the role, but it's fun to try to picture whom you're writing for. We're toying with the images of Amanda Seyfried and Orlando Bloom. And maybe Michelle Pfeiffer for Celia's mother?
    Whom do you see in the roles? All suggestions are welcome!

  9. Cover number 3 is my favourite.

    Marla and Angela, PLEASE do not cast Orlando Bloom! He is a terrible, wooden actor. You need someone with real passion and intensity for that role. I'd suggest Michael Fassbender (has just played Mr Rochester in the recent Jane Eyre film). Or James McAvoy would be a good choice.

    Michelle Pfeiffer is WAY too pretty to be Ursula. Someone plainer like Glenn Close or Emma Thompson would be a better choice and would be more like the way readers 'see' Ursula in their minds when reading the book.

    I do think Amanda Seyfried would be great casting as Celia though. I also think Emilie de Ravin from Lost (the blonde Australian girl) has the right look.