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Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett
  

Portrait of an Unknown Woman

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

1587 and the painter Holbein makes his first visit to England under the patronage of Sir Thomas More. He falls for More’s foster daughter, Meg Giggs, who in turn is greatly enamoured by the tutor, now trainee doctor, John Clement. This is wonderful Tudor household stuff, good on detail, the political tensions of the period and thwarted love, so part love story, part thriller, a great read.

Comparison: Philippa Gregory, Tracy Chevalier, Sarah Dunant.

If you like Vanora Bennett you might also like to read books by Philippa Gregory, Tracy Chevalier and Sarah Dunant.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett

The year is 1527. Hans Holbein makes his first visit to England, sent by the great Erasmus to paint Thomas More, courtier, scholar, patron, and his family. More's splendid house on the river in Chelsea is at the centre of Tudor society, frequented by distinguished astronomers, artists, politicians and men of religion, as well as wards of court, protégés and many others.

Two visitors to the great house find themselves irresistibly drawn to Meg Giggs, one of More's foster daughters. John Clement - dark, tall, elegant - studying to be a doctor, is a man of compelling presence and mysterious background. The other man is Holbein himself - warm, ebullient, radical and a painter of great renown. Meg finds herself powerfully drawn to these two wildly contrasting men. She will love one, and marry the other.

A wonderful, rich novel, presenting the atmosphere of this Tudor household as rarely achieved, with an astounding ability to present to us the world of Holbein's paintings as well as a gallery of vividly realised characters.

Reviews

'Bennett's background detail is impeccable - part love story, part thriller, all excellently imagined and written.' The Times

'There is plenty to admire and enjoy in Bennett's portrayal of a society convulsed by radical change…Vanora Bennett is a writer to watch.' Times Literary Supplement

'Distinguished…Romance, intrigue and art history are confidently blended, and Holbein canvases are afforded starring roles.' Daily Mail

'An atmospheric, passionate novel set against a backdrop of religious and political upheaval.' Woman and Home

About the Author

Vanora Bennett was born and brought up in London. She is a writer and a freelance journalist. She lives in North London with her husband and two children.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th June 2007

Author

Vanora Bennett

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Author's Website

vanorabennett.com/

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Publisher

Harpercollins Publishers

Format

Paperback (b Format)
400 pages

Categories

Historical Fiction
Debuts of the Month
Reading Groups
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Historical romance

ISBN

9780007224937

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