The Botticelli Trilogy
'. . . the most remarkable work I have ever read, such encylopedic knowledge bubbling up effortlessly to create people, places, situations, dialogue, embellished with sharply observed vignettes of nature like decorated capitals in manuscripts. And so much thought on the meaning of life!' Dr Carol Kidwell
It is always my intention in writing historical fiction to stick to the facts wherever possible.
'The historical detail in all three is exemplary, and each is a cracking good read.' Lonely Planet Guides, Florence and Tuscany.
Sometimes, however, imagination contradicts the facts and I have learned to trust it when it happens, because it often - usually - leads to remarkable, serendipitous discoveries.
'The research in art, history and philosophy is breathtakingly thorough.' Ruth Padel (Daily Mail).
Since the books teem with historical characters and are rich in references, particularly to Renaissance magic, neoplatonism, cabbala, etc. - as well as music, geometry, painting and poetry - not to mention philosophy and theology - they are a demanding read but a rewarding one. The research was like doing several degrees at the same time.
'There's a deal of discussion of philosophy here, but you come away feeling enlightened rather than bludgeoned. . .a book with that indefinable numinous something.' [review on Fictional Cities]
Having done that research, I then had to forget about it to write the story.
'Astonishing tour-de-force.' Dr. Pamela Tudor-Craig
The Botticelli Trilogy has had a great reception from the academics, are on the reading lists of several Renaissance art history courses, and in the syllabus of at least one university.
'Out of the myriad of fictions "inspired" by Florence, these seem to be of the most thoughtful, intelligent and artistic.' The Florentine, June 2007.
'A novel which affirms the spiritual intellect and the indomitable power of the compassionate imagination . . . ranks beside those of Mary Renault and Marguerite Youcenar.' Lindsay Clarke
'Full of wisdom.' Tim Pears
'Historical fiction at its best.' Historical Novel Society
'A time-travelling trance of inspiration, straight to the heart of the Renaissance.' Noel Cobb in Sphinx 3
The Botticelli Trilogy goes electronic
I don't get paid by Godstow Press but I do get presents, such as a Mac so big it's like editing on a cinema screen. Recently I was given a Kindle. I know why - it's to get me over my hoity, Tommaso-like disapproval of new technology and, also like him, learn to embrace the future. So just as my hero went from quill to compositor's stick, I'm reading on an e-book device and thanking God for opposable thumbs when it comes to making notes. But oh, what a joy on the bus or in bed not to have to struggle with a hefty book.
Of course the consequence is that we're now hurtling towards the trilogy being available on Kindle, Kobo etc. The actual process takes minutes, they tell me, but I'm taking the opportunity to do some revision and that will take months.
I've been greatly encouraged by two enquiries recently, one from Hungary. We're hoping e-books will solve all distribution problems and look forward to going global!
The Hunt for Juliana Hill Cotton
After years wondering what happened to Juliana Hill Cotton's thesis on Poliziano and his poetry after she died, I've been prompted to do something about it. The Bodleian Library is now engaged, a friend of mine who knows about historical records (such as probate), and several American scholars on the Italian Studies forum. There is a definitive, I hope, bibliography of her published works now on site. The story of the quest is to be found on my blog http://lindaproud.wordpress.com (entry March 2nd, 2012).
Found her! In the summer of 2012, her family got in touch. I'd had no idea we'd been living in the same city! I've introduced them to my contact at the Bodleian and I hope that the thesis, languishing in a family archive, is now on its way to public access.