Mr Knightley's Diary
One of my favourite parts of being a writer is seeing the cover of a new book for the first time. I've been really lucky with the covers of my Jane Austen retellings, as my publishers have let me choose the portraits.
The first one, for Darcy's Diary, generated a lot of talk, with people liking the idea of a portrait, but not always liking the portrait chosen, so I'm very interested to know what people think of this one.
Incidentally, it's a portrait of Robert Southey,(1774-1843) who was an English poet. I'll be blogging about him in more detail next month.
Choosing the portraits is an interesting experience. I've never come across a portrait that looks exactly like my idea of Mr Darcy or Mr Knightley, probably because they were fictional characters who were never painted! But choosing from the available portraits that are from the right period, show a man of the right age (a lot are of much older men), show him alone (a lot show men with their families) and show him without anything odd in the background - odd in the context of my books, for example an elephant - limits the choice substantially. However, I'm very pleased with this one.
Some of my friends think he looks miserable, some of them think he looks pensive, some of them think he has a look of Jeremy Northam (no bad thing) and I think he looks as though he's just got back from Box Hill. To me, his expression is just right for when Mr Knightley thinks that Emma is in love with Frank Churchill.
Let me know what you think! Can you see this as a portrait of Mr Knightley?
Mr Knightley's Diary will be out in August (October in the US). To pre-order Mr Knightley's Diary from Amazon, click here
To read a new extract, click here