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The serpent garden di Judith Merkle Riley
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The serpent garden (edizione 1996)

di Judith Merkle Riley

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
384449,238 (3.97)9
"The book opens in Tudor England, where Henry VIII and his Machiavellian counselor Cardinal Wolsey are scheming to put an English heir on the French throne. They are arranging to marry Henry's pretty, frivolous younger sister, Mary, to the aging king of France, and they are succeeding thanks in no small measure to a breathtaking miniature of Mary that has been delivered secretly into the king's hands. Everyone wants to know the identity of the painter who created this small miracle, and speculation is rampant. Because women are not allowed in the painters' guild, no one suspects that the artist is a woman, Susanna Dallet, who has been bitterly disappointed by her cad of a husband, who left her widowed and penniless with only her nearly divine talent for portrait painting to sustain herself. Susanna catches the eye and not-quite-benign protection of the manipulative, scheming, brilliant Wolsey - who is utterly captivated by her wit, her independence, and her uncanny gift for capturing character with the delicate strokes of her tiny brush." "Placed in the entourage of the princess-bride as she travels stormy seas to the royal wedding, Susanna unknowingly carries with her to France the key to a secret that will embroil her in the diabolical plots swirling through the French court. But high in the rigging of the princess's silk-bannered ship sits the angel of art, who not only snatches Susanna from danger but rewards her courage and feisty resourcefulness with the love of an intelligent - and devastatingly attractive - hero."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (altro)
Utente:Linelashi
Titolo:The serpent garden
Autori:Judith Merkle Riley
Info:New York : Viking, 1996.
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
Voto:*****
Etichette:Nessuno

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The Serpent Garden di Judith Merkle Riley

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Mostra 4 di 4
One of 3 loosely-linked historical novels (with a soupçon of fantasy) by Judith Merkle Riley, this historical novel deals with the miniaturist, Susanna Dallet. Left in poverty by the death of her philandering husband, she becomes paintrix to Thomas Wolsey, and accompanies Mary Tudor to her wedding with Louis XII of France.

Deftly written, I enjoyed this. Susanna is not a simpering miss of a heroine, but a woman who isn't sure she wants a man back into her life after the way she was treated by her late husband. Certainly not the mildly misogynist Robert Ashton who is told by Thomas Wolsey to look after his investment.

There is some period fantasy - angels and demons, along with Black Magic, but not enough to mark this as a historical fantasy.

Recommended.
  Maddz | Jun 24, 2020 |
Witty historical fiction with a bit of fantasy (in this case, angels and demons), this book is set during the reign of Henry VIII in England, and includes scenes in France as well.

I loved the main character, painter Susanna Dallet - she is captivating and has a rather droll sense of humor.  Daughter of a Flemish artist and trained by him, she's married to another cheating artist (who was only trying to get her dad's secrets from her) and trying to be a good wife.  She takes on a commission on behalf of her husband for a miniature of Mary Tudor, sister of the king, intending to pass her work off for his, but then her husband is caught in bed with another woman and killed, and Susanna has to pretend his ghost did the work.

That starts off a romp of an adventure that has Susanna working for Cardinal Wolsey and ultimately sent to France as part of Mary Tudor's entourage for her marriage to its aging king.  There's also a plotline involving a mysterious book sought by the Priory of Sion as well as a villian in England, the involvement of demons and imps and angels and cherubs (rather silly, but fun), and of course romance.

Each section of the book begins with an art catalogue description of one of thirteen paintings supposedly done by Susanna, but attributed to others or unknowns.  Susanna then makes a retrospective comment about the painting that foreshadows what is to come in the book.  I loved this, and only wish I could have seen the actual portraits, as I believe some are real (for example, there are a number of portraits of Mary Tudor by unknown artists).  I also loved all the description of painting techniques and processes included in the story.

I think author Judith Merkle Riley may have based Susanna on the real female Tudor era artist Susannah Hornebolt, who was known (like her father Gerard) for her miniatures.  Interestingly, this artist had a brother name Lucas Horenbout, and the art catalogue descriptions of two of the thirteen paintings list him as the artist - which makes me wonder if perhaps the real-life Susannah's work was mistakenly attributed to her brother!

Sadly, we can't ask the author, as she died in 2010.  I plan to read the other five of her historical novels ( )
  riofriotex | Apr 28, 2020 |
This is a wonderful book with a strong heroine who is able to best her male counterparts in medieval England. There is lots of court intrigue and sorcery. Was a really fun book to read. ( )
  Heather_Arrington | May 31, 2015 |
Judith Merkle Rileys bøger, kan kraftigt anbefales. De er nok mest til teenagere og voksne, men kan også læses af yngre teenagere som kan lide at læse og som ikke skræmmes væk af flere hundrede sider og lidt tungere sprog end almindelige ungdomsbøger. ( )
  Rijje | Jan 24, 2008 |
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» Aggiungi altri autori (5 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Judith Merkle Rileyautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Leister, BryanImmagine di copertinaautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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"The book opens in Tudor England, where Henry VIII and his Machiavellian counselor Cardinal Wolsey are scheming to put an English heir on the French throne. They are arranging to marry Henry's pretty, frivolous younger sister, Mary, to the aging king of France, and they are succeeding thanks in no small measure to a breathtaking miniature of Mary that has been delivered secretly into the king's hands. Everyone wants to know the identity of the painter who created this small miracle, and speculation is rampant. Because women are not allowed in the painters' guild, no one suspects that the artist is a woman, Susanna Dallet, who has been bitterly disappointed by her cad of a husband, who left her widowed and penniless with only her nearly divine talent for portrait painting to sustain herself. Susanna catches the eye and not-quite-benign protection of the manipulative, scheming, brilliant Wolsey - who is utterly captivated by her wit, her independence, and her uncanny gift for capturing character with the delicate strokes of her tiny brush." "Placed in the entourage of the princess-bride as she travels stormy seas to the royal wedding, Susanna unknowingly carries with her to France the key to a secret that will embroil her in the diabolical plots swirling through the French court. But high in the rigging of the princess's silk-bannered ship sits the angel of art, who not only snatches Susanna from danger but rewards her courage and feisty resourcefulness with the love of an intelligent - and devastatingly attractive - hero."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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