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Portrait of an Unknown Woman (2007)

por Vanora Bennett

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
7833021,945 (3.54)46
"The year is 1527. The great portraitist Hans Holbein, who has fled the reformation in Europe, is making his first trip to England under commission to Sir Thomas More. In the course of six years, Holbein will become a close friend to the More family and paint two nearly identical family portraits. But closer examination of the paintings reveals that the second holds several mysteries..."Set against the turmoil, intrigue and, tragedy of Henry VIII's court, Portrait of an Unknown Woman vividly evokes sixteenth-century England on the verge of enormous change. As the Protestant Reformation sweeps across Europe to lap at England's shores, relations between her king and the Catholic Church begin to plummet-driven by Henry VIII's insatiable need for a male heir and the urgings of his cunning mistress Anne Boleyn-and heresy begins to take hold. As tensions rise, Henry VIII turns to his most trusted servant and defender of Catholic orthodoxy, Sir Thomas More, to keep peace in England, but soon the entire More family find their own lives at risk.At the center of Portrait of an Unknown Woman is Meg Giggs, Sir Thomas More's twenty-three year old adopted daughter. Intelligent, headstrong, and tender-hearted, Meg has been schooled in the healing arts. And though she is devoted to her family, events conspire that will cause Meg to question everything she thought she knew-including the desires of her own heart. As the danger to More and his family increases, two men will vie for Meg's affections: John Clement, her former tutor and More's protege, who shares Meg's passion for medicine but whose true identity will become unclear, and the great Holbein, whose artistic vision will forever alter her understanding of the world.With a striking sense of period detail, Portrait of an Unknown Woman is an unforgettable story of sin and religion, desire and deception. It is the story of a young woman on the brink of sensual awakening and of a country on the edge of mayhem.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 30 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Vanora Bennett’s “Portrait of an Unknown Woman” is a fascinating, well researched historical novel about two 16th century men, Sir Thomas More and artist Hans Holbein. Central to the storyline is a young woman who meant much to both of them. The history of the tumultuous times in which these people lived is larger than all the characters put together and makes for a dramatic story.
Whether or not you believe that John Clement was Richard, Duke of York, this is a fascinating book. It gives a real insight into the religious turbulence of the early 16th century, and explains the hidden imagery in Holbein's paintings.It's also a rollicking good story. ( )
  Jawin | Nov 5, 2020 |
Very interesting. I enjoy Tudor history. The love story between the main characters has center stage, but the backstory is actually more interesting... Tudors, Plantagenets. Renaissance artwork. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
Meg Giggs lost her mother at birth and then her father at nine. She goes to live with Thomas More's family. She feels like an outsider. She's the last of the More daughters to be married; and she marries John Clement. (his story is just as interesting.)
Hans Holbein is hired by More to paint a family portrait. he has a painters eye and sees all the family secrets, including one about Elizabeth Dauncy, on of the sisters.
Book is historical fiction with a lot of historical facts. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
When I read the book, the expression 'You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear' repeatedly came to my thoughts. This book is basically a Harlequin romance set in the time of Sir Thomas More and Tudor England. It is the story of Thomas More's ward, Meg Giggs - her education, her interest in medicine, her relationship with her husband (is he who he seems?). The book is set during a time of religious and political upheaval.

Twice, the painter Hans Holbein the Younger stays in the More home and paints a portrait of the family. The descriptions of the paintings and the clever descriptions of the hidden meanings in the paintings kept me interested and kept me reading. I even looked up the two More family paintings on-line and referred to them as I read.

The rest of the book? The boy meets girl, the unrequited love, the eventual marriage, the second love interest, the happy(ish) ending? Maybe not so much. ( )
  EvelynBernard | Jun 25, 2017 |
Alright all now I am 90% convinced it is me. I have yet another 3 out of 5 book here. Although with this one it wasn't another case of a rushed ending at least.

I don't really know why they called it Portrait of an Unknown Woman since the art aspect of it played precious little role in the book over all. Maybe it is my fault for expecting something similar to Tracy Chevalier's books, one of the best known of those being Girl with a Pearl Earring. It seemed to me that this book was possibly trying to hard to not be a romance because that is what it was. It was a historical romance. There is nothing wrong with that but since it kept trying to be something else the romance parts were lacking and so was everything else.

The book is about Sir Thomas More's foster daughter Meg Gigs and her two loves. It also largely deals with her conflicting feelings about More's fight against heretics.

I question the historical accuracy. I don't know how to go into that without giving away spoilers. I'll just say it goes into a really well known historical mystery and gives an idea of what might have happened playing it off as fact and a fairly large factor in the overall story. Now I don't mind this. It is a really interesting concept but the problem is, again, it isn't played out. It is touched on and than skipped over for other things.

There was one constant theme throughout and that was Sir Thomas More's growing extremism and anti-heretic craziness. This brings me to one of the reasons this review is a hard one for me to write. I know some about Sir Thomas More but mainly just in passing with regards to him and King Henry. I don't really know anything about the More's themselves and I was looking forward to learning more. What I read from other reviews would indicate that this is not the book to learn that from. I could see that as being true simply given Meg Gig's character's tendency to change often.

I will say I enjoyed the writing style. The overall flow, word usage, and descriptions all made this book pleasant to read. Honestly without those it probably would have gotten 2 stars instead of 3 but I have to give credit where it is due. ( )
  Alexis_D. | Sep 22, 2016 |
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Vanora Bennettautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Bailey, JosephineNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The house was turned upside down and inside out on the day the painter was to arrive.
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"The year is 1527. The great portraitist Hans Holbein, who has fled the reformation in Europe, is making his first trip to England under commission to Sir Thomas More. In the course of six years, Holbein will become a close friend to the More family and paint two nearly identical family portraits. But closer examination of the paintings reveals that the second holds several mysteries..."Set against the turmoil, intrigue and, tragedy of Henry VIII's court, Portrait of an Unknown Woman vividly evokes sixteenth-century England on the verge of enormous change. As the Protestant Reformation sweeps across Europe to lap at England's shores, relations between her king and the Catholic Church begin to plummet-driven by Henry VIII's insatiable need for a male heir and the urgings of his cunning mistress Anne Boleyn-and heresy begins to take hold. As tensions rise, Henry VIII turns to his most trusted servant and defender of Catholic orthodoxy, Sir Thomas More, to keep peace in England, but soon the entire More family find their own lives at risk.At the center of Portrait of an Unknown Woman is Meg Giggs, Sir Thomas More's twenty-three year old adopted daughter. Intelligent, headstrong, and tender-hearted, Meg has been schooled in the healing arts. And though she is devoted to her family, events conspire that will cause Meg to question everything she thought she knew-including the desires of her own heart. As the danger to More and his family increases, two men will vie for Meg's affections: John Clement, her former tutor and More's protege, who shares Meg's passion for medicine but whose true identity will become unclear, and the great Holbein, whose artistic vision will forever alter her understanding of the world.With a striking sense of period detail, Portrait of an Unknown Woman is an unforgettable story of sin and religion, desire and deception. It is the story of a young woman on the brink of sensual awakening and of a country on the edge of mayhem.

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