Perfect for fans of `Girl with a Pearl Earring', this is a remarkable love story with a background of religious and political turmoil in Tudor England. 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, proteges 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.
Vanora Bennett is a journalist and writer. She has been a foreign correspondent and feature writer and contributed to publications including The Times, the LA Times, the Guardian, the Observer and the Evening Standard. She lives in London with her husband and two sons. Portrait of an Unknown Woman is her first novel and she is currently writing her second novel for HarperCollins.