The Marriage Rite was first published in 1953 by Intimate Novels. You can probably guess what type of books they published just by the name of their company. Five years later, the art was reused for the cover of a novel called Wild Oats, which was published by Beacon. I think The Marriage Rite is a better title than Wild Oats.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery!,” the cover reads, “But if a husband sins, should his wife follow suit?” Was that the only option available? The cover also says that this is “a novel of sham passions and triumphant love.” What are sham passions?
I like the contrast between the swooning lovers and the shocked witness, who I am assuming is the wife. Is he cheating at home or has his wife followed him to his secret love nest? His mistress has good fashion sense, combining a green skirt and a red sash with a black top.
This cover was done by Walter Popp, who is one of my favorites.