I've just learnt that the UK hardack edition of Colonel Brandon's Diary will be out in July. The publishers offer a 30% discount and free UK p&P if you preorder from them, and you can reach them by sending an email here. They will post the book overseas if you live outside the UK.
The cover will be a head and shoulders picture, as usual, and it will be taken from this beautiful portrait of Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1767-1855) and his Daughter, Alexandrine (1791-1871), which was painted in 1795 by Francois Gerard.
I wanted to use this portrait in particular because I think it works very well as an image of a young Brandon with his ward, the little Eliza.
When I first read Sense and Sensibility, I thought that Brandon was a dry stick, and I thought it was a travesty that he married Marianne, but on subsequent readings I began to take in more details and I realised that he's exactly the man for her.
He's had a tragic love affair, as she has, and they are both very romantic people. I had a wonderful time fleshing out his back story, including his early unhappy love affair and his duel with Willoughby, before exploring his feelings as he fell in love with Marianne.
This portrait exactly captures him, for me. He's a romantic, and yet he's also able to live and succeed in the real world. He has a strong protective streak, and there's a solidity about him that someone like Willoughby will never match, even if he lives to be 100.