The Subject of a Portrait (Hardback)John Harvey (author)
Hardback 289 Pages / Published: 15/01/2015
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In 1853 the most brilliant young painter of Victorian England, John Everett Millais, travelled to Scotland with the country's leading art critic, John Ruskin, and his young wife Euphemia ('Effie'). While in Scotland, the artist was to paint the critic's portrait. But the marriage was built on intimate secrets, and the events that followed became both the most famous love story, and the most famous scandal, to involve a young woman, an author and an artist, in nineteenth century England. Still however we do not know exactly 'what happened in the Highlands' - or in London, afterwards. The Subject of a Portrait recreates those dilemmas. It catches the excitement of watching an artist, torn by conflicts, produce a great painting. A young wife must change the foundations of her life - and of herself. And a great critic gains revolutionary insights at the cost of his personal disaster. The figure 'John' is a new character in fiction. The mysteries surrounding the Ruskin marriage are of intense contemporary interest. They are the subject of two feature films for release this year and next. A film may show the images - but the intimate guesswork of a novel can get to the roots of the knots in life, even of the twists in a strange, great figure like Ruskin. It can focus in on the contradictions which teem within love, and foreground the drama hidden behind the picture that we see. The fiction of John Harvey has been consistently found 'immensely readable', 'impressive, compelling...tense, exciting and significant', 'remarkable and terrifying...charged, street-credible' (Isabel Raphael, Allan Massie, the TLS). Britain's most distinguished literary critic, Professor Sir Christopher Ricks, found The Subject of a Portrait 'excellent; I was taken by every page; more, every sentence. It is beautifully and startlingly written, the sudden shifts and turns, impulse and counter-impulse within and from these remarkable people. A very fine love story.'
Publisher: Polar Books UK
Number of pages: 289
Dimensions: 240 x 150 mm
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