On this bright and sunny day, when all the local plants in my hometown are (FINALLY) busting into bloom, I thought I would share with you all a bit more information about the American cover design for "The Signature of All Things."
My publisher, Viking, had asked me last year if I had any ideas in mind for the jacket of the book. One of the images I sent over was this extraordinary watercolor, painted in 1503 by Albrecht Dürer, called "The Great Piece of Turf". It's a small but precious work of botanical perfection — accurate, soothing, deceptively simple. To this day, the plants can be easily identified (even by a lay-gardener's eye like mine) as speedwell, dandelion, yarrow, daisy…the same humble but enduring species I have growing in my own yard, more than five hundred years later.
I've always loved this piece. Best of all, my novel's 19th century heroine, Alma Whittaker (a true connoisseur of botanical drawings herself), would certainly have known of this watercolor. She would have had prints of it in her own library, and I like to believe she loved it, as well.
Anyway, the art department at Viking ended up basing their final design on Dürer's masterpiece, which is why, I think, it has such a timeless and elegant quality. And that's the backstory, folks, and another reason why I love the cover!
And please don't forget to pre-order the book here, by the way (where you can also see the final cover again): http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/books/.
I hope you'll enjoy it…
Lots of love, and happy blooming!