A feat of historical reconstruction by a master of the genre, this is a vivid and insightful account of the life of Wenceslaus Hollar, the celebrated illustrator of 17th-century London.
The seventeenth-century London Wenceslaus Hollar knew is now largely destroyed or buried. Yet its populous river, its timbered streets, fashionable ladies, old St Paul's, the devestation of the Fire, the palace of Whitehall and the meadows of Islington live on for us in his etchings.
Drawing on numerous sources, Gillian Tindall creates a montage of Hollar's life and times and of the illustrious lives that touched his. It is a carefully researched factual account, but she has also employed her novelist's skill to form an intricate whole - a life's texture which is also an absorbing and occasionally tragic story.
“Her intention is that fact and fiction should complement each other. They do perfectly”
Frances Spalding, Sunday Times
“With clarity of purpose and clarity of style, she has written a book that is both elegant and thoughtful”
Michael Prodger, Sunday Telegraph
“Gillian Tindall is a tapestry maker. She finds patterns in history - woven from close research into people and places - that no one else would have the persistence and insight to pursue”