Auberon, the brilliant but troubled Director of the Museum of British History (known as BRIT) is preparing one Midsummer's Day for the opening of the most spectacular exhibition the Museum has ever staged. The centrepiece of the exhibition is Gainsborough's portrait of the beautiful but intriguing Lady St John; not shown in London for a hundred years, the painting shows its subject strikingly attired as Puck. As the day passes the portrait arouses in the minds of the museum staff disquieting questions, rivalries, and strangely deep affections. Tension mounts: will the gala dinner be a success? Can the Museum's Chairman be kept under control? And just what is it that's so peculiar about the portrait?
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 288 pages
- Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
- Publication Date: 03/02/2003
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780747265412
- EPUB from £4.99
- Paperback from £11.85
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Review by dsc73277
A highly enjoyable read. This comic novel follows twenty four hours in the life of a fictional London museum leading up to the launch of a major exhibition concerning eighteenth century "Elegance". The author clearly draws on his own background in the gallery world, but the choreography of the relationship between Chairman and Chief Executive (Director in this case), and the ambitions and motivations of board members and staff are likely to touch a cord with those who have witnessed the internal politics of any organisation. For fans to TV cookery shows there is a temperamental chef thrown into the mix (almost literally), and those who like gentle romance will be touched by the blossoming relationship between two of the junior security staff.