A huge delight to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for A RIGHT ROYAL FACE-OFF by SIMON EDGE. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for the copy of the book and putting this tour together - and letting me be part of it all!
There's also a chance for you to win a copy of this book too!! I do spoil you........
A Right Royal Face-Off
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 the book from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURFACE
Author Bio –
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.
Social Media Links –
If you are looking for a book that is the perfect antidote to the miserable, crazy world we currently live in, then you've come to the right place!! This is a Georgian comedy about Thomas Gainsborough and his rival painter, Sir Joshua Reynolds - if you thought the art world was stuffy and dull then think again! It's a book that made me smile and chuckle on numerous occasions and I just adored spending time with these characters and wondering where the story would take me!
It's a dual timeline story - from the present time when a new antiques show is about to debut on TV and they're looking to spice things up, to the past where we see Thomas dealing with royalty and rivalry on a grand scale! There's also letters we get to read from the past as we read the Georgian goings on from the point of view of David, a servant to the master painter and he has a whole different take on events at work, as he reports back to his family and let them know about a world they can't even begin to imagine!
Gainsborough is a wonderful character! He almost seems to resent having to paint portraits but it pays the bills and he wants to be #1 - not easy when Sir Joshua seems to be flavour of the month! I loved the behind the scenes goings on too at a sitting for a painting - the royal family gossiping and complaining about life as they chat with him!
In the present we get to witness how the world of TV operates, especially reality shows who try and use the public and humiliate them - when Muriel Mudge takes a painting along to be valued they think they've struck gold with her absurd claim but they're soon the ones eating humble pie when she digs in her heels and refuses to speak to them as they try and make amends when doubts start to creep in!
The whole flow of this book was just pitched perfectly! There's a great balance between the two timelines and so much to keep you entertained and intrigued! Just why is there a painting of a man with donkey ears?! You can tell that the author has had so much fun with creating this storyline as it really comes across and his imagination has run riot!
A blast to read and quite touching too at times! It's a book that has a little bit of everything from history, to mystery to satire and it is one I highly recommend to everyone!
A treat for those of you in the UK who want to win a copy of this fabulous book!
Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of A Right Royal Face-Of (UK Only)
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Click below to enter!! GOOD LUCK!!