The P*e*r*i*o*d Dress Girls of 2009

Here they are, The P*e*r*i*o*d Dress Gang:
The Red Queen’s Daughter by Jacqueline Kolosov (Hyperion 2009, c2007)
Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle (Henry Holt May 2009)
The King’s Rose by Alisa Libby (Penguin 2009)
A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn (HarperCollins 2009)
The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry (Bloomsbury 2009)
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (Bloomsbury 2009)
Envy by Anna Godbersen (HarperCollins 2009)
Warrior Princess by Frewin Jones (HarperCollins 2009)
Hazel by Julie Hearn (Simon & Schuster November 2009)




And a bit less flamboyant and with an animal:
A Voice of Her Own by Barbara Dana (HarperCollins 2009)
The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison (HarperCollins 2009).


I usually try to limit the number of jackets I use to make a point. But here the point is the numbers.
What I want to know is if there’s actual market research that shows that this is a surefire draw for teenage girls. Most of these have already been released – 1/3 of the way through the year. Are there more to come? Why this explosion of photos of young women dressed in fancy gowns from the past?

UPDATE August 1, 2009:  I have added asterisks to the word p*e*r*i*o*d in the title and text of this post because searches for girls p*e*r*i*o*d*s have overwhelmed the search terms used to find this blog. The only thing I can think of to do is stretch the word out with asterisks and never use those two words together again!

Red Queen’s Daughter: The orphaned daughter of Katherine Parr and Henry VIII, sixteen-year-old Mary Seymour vies to gain acceptance and fend off her jealous relatives and castle-mates as she enters into Queen Elizabeth’s court. Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3.
Betraying Season: In 1838, Penelope Leland goes to Ireland to study magic and prove to herself that she is as good a witch as her twin sister Persy, but when Niall Keating begins to pay her court, she cannot help being distracted. Ages 14+. Reviews: 1.
King’s Rose:  Catharine Howard recounts the events in her life that led to her being groomed for marriage at the age of fifteen to King Henry VIII, her failure to produce an heir to the throne, and her quick execution. Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4. Book Trailer.
Kiss in Time: Sixteen-year-old Princess Talia persuades seventeen-year-old Jack, the modern-day American who kissed her awake after a 300-year sleep, to take her to his Miami home, where she hopes to win his love before the witch who cursed her can spirit her away. Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Amaranth Enchantment: Orphaned at age five, Lucinda, now fifteen, stands with courage against the man who took everything from her, aided by a thief, a clever goat, and a mysterious woman called the Witch of Amaranth, while the prince she knew as a child prepares to marry, unaware that he, too, is in danger. Ages 10-14. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Princess of the Midnight Ball: A retelling of the tale of twelve princesses who wear out their shoes dancing every night, and of Galen, a former soldier now working in the king’s gardens, who follows them in hopes of breaking the curse. Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Envy: Ages 14+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Warrior Princess: After a deadly attack on her home, fifteen-year-old Princess Branwen meets a mystical woman in white who prophesies that Branwen will save her homeland from falling to the Saxons. Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3.
Hazel: Thirteen-year-old Hazel leaves her comfortable, if somewhat unconventional, London home in 1913 after her father has a breakdown, and goes to live in the Caribbean on her grandparents’ sugar plantation where she discovers some shocking family secrets. Ages 12+.
Voice of Her Own: A fictionalized first-person account of revered American poet Emily Dickinson’s girlhood in mid-nineteenth-century Amherst, Massachusetts. Ages 12+.
Princess and the Bear: A hound who was once a princess and a bear who was once a king travel back in time to save a kingdom and find their human selves. Ages 12+.


16 Responses to “The P*e*r*i*o*d Dress Girls of 2009”

  1. Also: The Season by Sarah MacLean

  2. This summer, look for The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler, a different retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Haven’t seen art yet, as I read it in ms form from my publisher.

  3. The covers are very nice to look at!

  4. Their hair and make-up looks very modern though, doesn’t it?

  5. I’ve also noticed that often the period dresses go along with being someone’s daughter. If you did a search for daughter in the title, you’d find even more although not necessarily published in 2009. But I think its safe to say this trend has been around a while! Interesting post, thanks!

  6. Oh, pretty! Now I want to read all these books, with the possible exception of that Luxe series book. That, I’ll just rip the cover off and put it on my wall.


  7. I find the period dresses attractive.

  8. Fashion and period costume are always so photogenic! Most of those covers make me salivate, even though I’d hate to squeezy my chubby self into a corset!! When the first Luxe book came out, I think the dress on the cover got more press than the actual story. Before that, we had the corseted girls on the Libba Bray books and many others. Various historical periods have been greatly romanticized for teen girls, and I think the marked for these is not necessarily historical fiction readers.

  9. I love period dress, but I do have a problem with the Luxe novels. They are all strapless dresses. Not exactly period attire. Though, my 4 year old LOVES them. She is convinced that I am going to wear the one from Envy in my wedding, even though I keep explaining that I am already married to daddy!! She thinks is does not count because she was not there.

  10. my cover is also period dress! =D

    tho i know you don’t like pink girly. ha!

    for me, i love historicals, and i love a lush
    cover with period costume. it does draw me in.

  11. Ann Marie Says:

    I love all of these covers. They are visually appealing, especially to the female audience.

  12. Claudette Says:

    Seriously………the covers do make me want to read the books……the wretched romantic girl in me :) Keep up the great work on this blog…simply amazing.

  13. Love historical fiction and love these covers! Only ones I don’t like are the ones where the girl’s head is cut off in the picture.

  14. Here’s another for you, released today: A Sweet Disorder, by Jacqueline Kolosov

  15. I linked to this post at my blog, here.

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