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A Right Royal Face-Off
A Right Royal Face-Off

A Right Royal Face-Off

A Georgian Comedy Featuring Thomas Gainsborough and Another Painter


272 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $15.95 (US $15.95) (CA $20.95)

Publication Date: November 2019

ISBN 9781785631306

Rights: US & CA

Eye Books (Nov 2019)
Lightning Books


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $15.95


Simon Edge takes aim at fakery and pretension in a highly original celebration of Thomas Gainsborough

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 the grandees who sit for him. However, he changes his tune when he is commissioned to paint King George III, his German queen and their vast family. He discovers a taste for royal company—but 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?


"A laugh-out-loud contemporary satire married with a tale of vicious rivalry in the world of 18th century portraiture." —Liz Trenow, author, The Forgotten Seamstress

Author Biography

Simon Edge was editor of Capital Gay, a gossip columnist for Evening Standard anda feature writer and theatre critic for Daily Express.