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'The Shifting Fog' aka 'The House at Riverton': Unbilled Miriam Hopkins on Kate Morton Book Cover

The Shifting Fog Kate Morton Miriam Hopkins'The Shifting Fog' a.k.a. 'The House at Riverton' book cover featuring Hollywood actress Miriam Hopkins.

Kate Morton 'The Shifting Fog' book cover featuring (unbilled) Hollywood star Miriam Hopkins

Australian author Kate Morton's bestselling novel The Shifting Fog, known as The House at Riverton in the US and the UK (see comments section below) chronicles the emotional and romantic travails of two beautiful sisters from a declining aristocratic British family during the early twentieth century.

The reason I'm writing this brief post about The Shifting Fog / The House at Riverton has nothing whatsoever to do with the plot of the novel, or with Kate Morton, or with an upcoming film adaptation. What matters here is the Australian book cover, which features an image of former Paramount, Samuel Goldwyn, and Warner Bros. contract player Miriam Hopkins – a 1935 Best Actress Academy Award nominee for playing the title role in the first three-color Technicolor feature ever made, Rouben Mamoulian's Becky Sharp.

Coincidentally, only yesterday I posted a two-part interview with author Allan Ellenberger, who's currently working on a Miriam Hopkins biography. Today, Allan sent me a link to a review of Morton's book.

The Shifting Fog, I should add, has nothing whatsoever to do with Miriam Hopkins – except for the fact that the novel's heroines and Hopkins are all blondes.

Miriam Hopkins movies

Curiously – though hardly surprising – even though Miriam Hopkins was a major star in the 1930s, I didn't find a single mention of her name (as in, “What is Old Hollywood actress Miriam Hopkins doing on the book cover?”) in the various commentaries and reviews of The Shifting Fog.

Besides Becky Sharp, among Miriam Hopkins' best-known movies are Rouben Mamoulian's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), with Fredric March; Stephen Roberts' racy The Story of Temple Drake (1933); Howard Hawks' Barbary Coast (1935), with Edward G. Robinson and Joel McCrea; and two melodramas co-starring Bette Davis: Edmund Goulding's The Old Maid (1939) and Vincent Sherman's Old Acquaintance (1943).

Miriam Hopkins on The Shifting Fog a.k.a. The House at Riverton book cover: Allen & Unwin.

'The Shifting Fog' aka 'The House at Riverton': Unbilled Miriam Hopkins on Kate Morton Book Cover © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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5 Comments to 'The Shifting Fog' aka 'The House at Riverton': Unbilled Miriam Hopkins on Kate Morton Book Cover

  1. Janet Ann

    Has the book been made into a film ??

  2. simmons

    Well, if they had used Bette Davis or some other famous face people would know who they were immediately. That would destroy the illusion.

  3. rapids

    Can they just use a celebritiy's face like that? Or do they need permission?

  4. Andre

    Thanks for the clarification, Grace. I've amended the post.

  5. Graceann

    It was only when I went to Kate Morton's website that I even found this version of The Shifting Fog, which was released in the UK and in the States under the title “The House at Riverton.” Since I read “Riverton,” I didn't even know about Miriam on the cover of this book, else I would have made a comment about it in my review at Amazon. Very interesting, indeed.

    As I mentioned to Allan, there is another mystery that I received recently which features Louise Brooks on the cover. As far as I know (I haven't read it yet), she's not in the story, but it's set in her heyday, and they used a picture of a gorgeous flapper.