Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People

Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781855144552
Publisher: National Portrait Gallery Publications
Publication date: 08/16/2012
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 5.15(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.34(d)

About the Author

John Banville is a novelist who won the Man Booker Prize for The Sea (2005).

Tracy Chevalier is a historical novelist best known for Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Julian Fellowes is a novelist, screenwriter and actor, most famous for his screenplay for Gosford Park and more recently the hugely popular Downton Abbey series.

Alexander McCall Smith is the award-winning author of No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

Terry Pratchett has sold more than 55 million copies of his science-fiction and fantasy novels worldwide. He was the bestselling UK author of the 1990s.

Sarah Singleton is an author of young adult fantasy fiction who won the Booktrust Teenage Prize for her novel Century in 2005.

Joanna Trollope is the author of eleven bestselling novels, several of which have been adapted for television.

Minette Walters is the award-winning author of thirteen crime novels, including The Ice House and The Sculptress.

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Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Cariola on LibraryThing 18 days ago
This clever little gem has found a special place on my bookshelf next to another, Helen Humphreys's The Frozen Thames. Published by the National Portrait Gallery in London, Imagined Lives is a collection of fourteen 'biographical' sketches based on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century portraits of unknown sitters. Eight well-known writers contributed to the book: John Banville, Tracy Chevalier, Julian Fellowes, Alexander McCall Smith, Terry Pratchett, Sarah Singleton, Joanna Trollope, and Minette Walters. Each has given the portrait sitter a name, and the sketches take the form of biographical entries, letters, and internal dialogues. One imagines the sitter critiquing his own newly-finished portrait. In another (my favorite), a young woman writes to her mother, asking for advice on a proposal from the man in the portrait. Tracy Chevalier's subject, an aging woman, muses on why she agreed to be drawn and on the passing of her years.The book includes full color copies of the portraits plus a closeup of a significant detail in each. At the back you'll find a fine essay on how sitters in historic portraits are identified, using as models known portraits of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, Mary, Queen of Scots, Anne Boleyn, and Michael Drayton. Details of each portrait's provenance, media, and dimensions are provided, along with a brief history of former identifications.This is a lovely book, the kind to reach for in quiet moments or to take you away from the not-so-quiet.