And the Heron’s saga continues, telling now about Alethea, daughter of Francis and Thomazine Heron.
Alethea is a woman ahead of her time since her love for painting as above all her 3 admirers: Kit Drakelon, his half-brother, Jasper Sewell, a quiet country doctor and the infamous John of Wilmot, Earl of Rochester.
Her first tutor in the art of painting was Mary Beale who immediately recognized Alethea’s gift to draw very quickly any portrait of mainly her family in the beginning oh her career. After acquiring more technique, she learnt to paint miniatures at the Court, during Restoration period. The description of the Fire in London is unforgettable.
Rochester’s poems to Alethea are authentic, according to the author, and the order in which they appear in the story corresponds to the order in which most scholars considerer he wrote them. It also seems that the famous portrait of Rochester crowing his monkey at the National Portrait Gallery, is usually assigned to Jacob Huysmans. Since there is no signature on it, why not attribute to Alethea?
After reading this series, I will certainly read the Wintercombe series.