The cover image is a marginal illustration from a 14th century French “Book of Hours” (Très belles Heures de Notre-Dame 1375-1400. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscrits, NAL 3093, fol. 155r.). The full page image is reproduced below. Its subject is “the harrowing of hell.” This was quite a common mediaeval subject (and this treatment is pretty close to the usual iconographic convention). It represents the risen, victorious, Christ releasing the captive souls from the power of sin and death, beginning with Adam and Eve themselves.

I chose it because it ties the new creation in Christ directly to the Eden account, and that direct connection is the major theme of the book (via the Genealogical Adam paradigm that Josh Swamidass’s book, The genealogical Adam and Eve, has since December 2019 introduced to the world at large).

The image also, incidentally, includes the theme of the defeat of Satan (to me represented by the mouth of hell as well as by the rather cute demons – it looks as though Satan’s mouth is jammed open by the cross, which is a pretty neat idea some evangelistic programme ought to adopt). The overturning of the serpent’s scheme is another neglected theme of the biblical meta-narrative that I try to rehabilitate in the book.

Those who’ve read my God’s Good Earth will notice the uniformity of the cover design, and that’s deliberate: I see the books as a pair, God’s Good Earth being about the first, natural creation (and hence green!) and Generations being about the new, spiritual creation (and hence heavenly blue). All praise to Cascade’s Shannon Carter for getting it in one.