Wednesday, November 12, 2014

When Books Birth Blooks: Forever Amber

In the post on how patents are useful in understanding book objects we saw how patent research can deepen our understanding of book objects. This post illustrates how magazine advertisements can do the same. Forever Amber is a 972-page romance novel set in 17th century England; written by Kathleen Winsor and published in 1944.  The book was made into an extremely popular film in 1947 by 20th Century Fox, starring the beautiful Linda Darnell (pictured on the dust jacket) and the dashing Cornell Wilde.

Above: Forever Amber in the second version of it dust jacket, in which Linda Darnell's portrait replaced another (see below).
This is stye original dust jacket design from which Forever Amber perfume was  copied. 

Forever Amber is the story of orphaned Amber St. Clare, who works her way upwards through the ranks of English society by sleeping and marrying successively richer and more important men, all the while harboring a love for a man she could never have. While there was much praise for the book at the time of publication, it was also banned in fourteen states for its blatant sexual references. Despite the banning, Forever Amber was the best-selling novel of the 1940s, selling over 100,000 copies in the first week of release and 3 million overall. The popularity of Forever Amber spun off this Forever Amber perfume in two binding variants.

Above: Forever Amber perfume, 'gift edition in fabulous gold plate.' 
Kay Daumit, 1947.

Both the gold gift edition and the Lucite gift book box can be see in the Woodward & Lothrop advertisement below. If it weren't for this ad, I may never have known that these perfume book boxes were made or who made them, nor would I know any other of the manufacturer's specifications such as their size, names, or outer packaging.
Above: Advertisement for Forever Amber perfume in two 'binding' variants. From Woodward & Lothrop, 1947.

There is more research to be done on Forever Amber, but I thought you might enjoy reading about it in process. 

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