Saturday, March 6, 2010
Vintage espionage II
This version is a rare British paperback reissue. The cover art – by Barye Phillips – is the same as the American Gold Medal release: an attractive blonde, presumably the title character, reclines on the floor and wears what appears to be a wedding gown. Cover artist Phillips usually emphasized glamour in his portrayals of women, and this woman has the glamour but a sharp edge as well. Contributing touches are the shadows in the background and a menacing gigantic red hand superimposed over the [anti] heroine, which seems to suggest the Red Menace.
Kirk, Lydia. Postmarked Moscow. New York : Scribner, 1952. "Wife of the ambassador to the USSR, 1949-1952." Cover design by Emil Antonucci. Postmarked Moscow is notable for its breezy style which nicely captures authentic U.S.-U.S.S.R. diplomatic atmosphere during some of the Cold War’s hottest years. Postmarked is not exactly an espionage book and was never released in paperback, but the Scribner hardcover original is worthy of consideration due to the author’s impeccable credentials and the striking cover design (love that red lettering!). See also the author’s Distinguished Service : Lydia Chapin Kirk, Partner in Diplomacy, 1896-1984, Syracuse U. Pr., 2007.