///The Talisman Ring – Rare Cover Art – All Things Georgette

The Talisman Ring – Rare Cover Art – All Things Georgette

By |2017-11-11T11:35:23+00:00November 10th, 2017|Georgette Heyer, Journal|1 Comment

Readers love Georgette Heyer for her humour. Her historical and detective novels are full of funny scenes, witty dialogue and memorable characters. Heyer’s wit and sparkling language make her a popular re-read and one of her finest comic novels is The Talisman Ring. It’s a period mystery with great characters, a page-turning plot and some very funny dialogue.

The American edition of The Talisman RIng published by Doubleday in 1937

The American edition of The Talisman Ring. Doubleday 1937.


The book had an unusual birth because for once Heyer had writer’s block. It was April 1936, she was 34, with a two-year old son and the main family breadwinner. With twenty books under her belt, this was the first time she’d felt she’d ‘written herself out’. After struggling for several days she’d almost given up, when ‘a Wholly Glorious novel burst upon [her] in the space of twenty minutes’. Three hours work gave her the synopsis and two months later she’d finished The Talisman Ring.

The Talisman Ring 1936 first-edition dust jacket.


Heinemann commissioned the well-known artist, Philip Youngman Carter to design the dust wrapper. Youngman Carter was a writer married to the famous mystery author, Margery Allingham, but he was  best known for his book jackets. He designed dustwrappers for many famous writers, including H.G. Wells, Daphne du Maurier, John Steinbeck, Graham Greene, J.B. Priestley and Rebecca West. Heyer had several fine artists design her book jackets. Arthur Barbosa was her favourite, followed by Philip Gough. She also liked  Theyre Lee Elliot’s eye-catching art deco jacket for Pastel (1929). Surprisingly, the original cover art for The Talisman Ring still exists, though it’s never been seen in public. Consisting of a rough pencil sketch and the final watercolour design, the two pictures remain in private hands. I’m delighted that the current owner has given me permission to share photos of Philip Youngman Carter’s original design.

Pastel cover art by Theyre Lee Elliot 1929.


Close-up of Philip Youngman Carter’s draft sketch for The Talisman Ring dust jacket. This is the first time these images have been made public.

Youngman Carter’s draft and final cover art for The Talisman Ring.


One Comment

  1. LeeBeth June 7, 2018 at 1:28 am - Reply

    The Talisman Ring is my favorite story to introduce to those who have never read Georgette Heyer’s delightful books. The outrageous plot twists, fascinating characters and subtle word sketches wrap one in a delicious world of escape. The juxtaposition of two couples at different stages of their lives encountering unimagined adventure entangles the reader’s heart with Heyer’s world. Thank you for sharing these wonderful visual gems of dustcovers that met the standard of a writer of the highest quality! It is like stepping into a past that I never experienced. Pastel is another unique jewel, to be treasured and read over again. Either of these stories might make a fascinating movie to invite new generations!

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