We’re delighted to be on tour today sharing Alice-Jane’s thoughts on A Right Royal Face Off by Simon Edge.
It is 1777, and
England’s second-greatest portrait artist, Thomas Gainsborough, has a thriving
practice a stone’s thrown from London’s royal palaces, while the press talks up
his rivalry with Sir Joshua Reynolds, the pedantic theoretician who is the top
dog of British portraiture.
Fonder of the low life than high society, Gainsborough loathes pandering to grand sitters, but he changes his tune when he is commissioned to paint King George III and his large family. In their final, most bitter competition, who will be chosen as court painter, Tom or Sir Joshua?
Meanwhile, two and a half centuries later, a badly damaged painting turns up on a downmarket antiques TV show being filmed in Suffolk. Could the monstrosity really be, as its eccentric owner claims, a Gainsborough? If so, who is the sitter? And why does he have donkey’s ears?
Mixing ancient and modern as he did in his acclaimed debut The Hopkins Conundrum, Simon Edge takes aim at fakery and pretension in this highly original celebration of one of our greatest artists.
Readers can order A Right Royal Face Off from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURFACE
A rather entertaining story about the mystery identity of an 18th Century portrait discovered when an elderly lady appears at an antiques discovery show.
As the portrait comes into question as being an authentic Gainsborough, author Simon Edge, leads the reader on a journey to the past to experience the lifestyle and competitiveness of the world of portraiture.
With an entertaining description of this, Edge tempers the past with the added experience of modern day antique discovery which agains emphasises the competition and judgemental attitude many have in the industry!
A highly enjoyable and informative story!
Simon Edge was born in Chester and read philosophy at Cambridge University.
He was editor of the pioneering London paper Capital Gay before becoming a gossip columnist on the Evening Standard and then a feature writer on the Daily Express, where he was also a theatre critic for many years.
He has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London. His first novel, The Hopkins Conundrum, was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award. He lives in Suffolk.
Read more about Simon and his work at www.simon-edge.com.