Sunday, December 28, 2008

13: Portrait of an Unknown Woman

When you are living in a family with one of the world's leading Holbein scholars, you tend to look at images - even tiny ones - and just know a Holbein when you see one.

I spotted this book on the shelf and reached for it immediately.  Holbein!  I read the bookjacket and added it to the pile immediately.  

Portrait of an Unknown Woman, a work of historical fiction by Vanora Bennett, is a lovely piece that literally takes the reader inside one of Holbein's more famous (but secondary works). Following the family of Sir Thomas More during the Protestant Reformation (and specifically the character of Meg Giggs), Bennett weaves her own version of the story of "the two princes" as England is torn apart by the war between Catholics and Protestants.

I'll recommend the novel to arts students, lit students, and history buffs.  And, of course, to members of my family, all of whom need a new Holbein reading this year.   


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