Monday 29 July 2019

#BlogTour A Right Royal Face-Off by Simon Edge

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour A Right Royal Face-Off by Simon Edge. It's historical fiction infused with the critical and disillusioned voice of the present.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of A Right Royal Face-Off (UK Only)

Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURFACE

About the Author
Simon Edge was born in Chester and read philosophy at Cambridge University.
He was editor of the pioneering London paper Capital Gay before becoming a gossip columnist on the Evening Standard and then a feature writer on the Daily Express, where he was also a theatre critic for many years.

He has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London. His first novel, The Hopkins Conundrum, was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award. He lives in Suffolk.
Read more about Simon and his work at

Follow @simonjedge on Twitter, on Instagram, on Goodreads,
Buy A Right Royal Face-Off 

About the book
It is 1777, and England’s second-greatest portrait artist, Thomas Gainsborough, has a thriving practice a stone’s thrown from London’s royal palaces, while the press talks up his rivalry with Sir Joshua Reynolds, the pedantic theoretician who is the top dog of British portraiture.

Fonder of the low life than high society, Gainsborough loathes pandering to grand sitters, but he changes his tune when he is commissioned to paint King George III and his large family. In their final, most bitter competition, who will be chosen as court painter, Tom or Sir Joshua?

Meanwhile, two and a half centuries later, a badly damaged painting turns up on a downmarket antiques TV show being filmed in Suffolk. Could the monstrosity really be, as its eccentric owner claims, a Gainsborough? If so, who is the sitter? And why does he have donkey’s ears?

Mixing ancient and modern as he did in his acclaimed debut The Hopkins Conundrum, Simon Edge takes aim at fakery and pretension in this highly original celebration of one of our greatest artists.

The story alternates between the past and the present, with both being linked via the medium of art. In 1777 we are introduced to the petty and competitive world of portrait painting. During a time when it wasn't possible to capture an image in the blink of an eye and messages weren't passed from person to person within a matter of seconds. A time when the image of self on a canvas was considered an immense talent.

The story is told through three characters, who give the tale an air of a global stage with each of them vying for a moment in the spotlight. David, the young footman, gives us the perspective of the lower class. He writes regularly to his mother and tells her of his life and that of his master. It gives the other stories a little more perspective, especially that of Gainsborough.

Gainsborough invests a lot of time in a feud with a fellow painter and equally as much showing his disdain for the more popular element of his profession. It's commercialism 101. Some things never change - no matter how many centuries pass by. It's interesting how certain moral quandaries can be laid aside when recognition, fame and fortune are involved.

One of the most memorable moments was piglets do still-life, as only lively little piglets can do, with a lot of spunk and little concern for the artist. I think it's fair to say Gainsborough has his work cut out for him.

Edge writes with charm and a cheeky sense of humour. It's historical fiction infused with the critical and disillusioned voice of the present. It's an intriguing mixture of fact and fiction, never too much history to drown out the fictional story, but also enough to keep readers hooked.

Buy A Right Royal Face-Off at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lightning Books; pub date 25 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Lightning Books.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of A Right Royal Face-Off (UK Only)

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*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

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