The year is 1527. The
great portraitist Hans Holbein, who has fled the reformation in Europe, is
making his first trip to England under commission to Sir Thomas More. In the
course of six years, Holbein will become a close friend to the More family and
paint two nearly identical family portraits. But closer examination of the
paintings reveals that the second holds several mysteries …
Set against the turmoil, intrigue, and, tragedy of Henry
VIII’s court, Portrait of an Unknown
Woman vividly evokes sixteenth-century England on the verge of enormous change.
As the Protestant Reformation sweeps across Europe to lap at England’s shores,
relations between her king and the Catholic Church begin to plummet—driven by
Henry VIII’s insatiable need for a male heir and the urgings of his cunning
mistress Anne Boleyn—and heresy begins to take hold. As tensions rise, Henry
VIII turns to his most trusted servant and defender of Catholic orthodoxy, Sir
Thomas More, to keep peace in England, but soon the entire More family find
their own lives at risk.
At the center of Portrait
of an Unknown Woman is Meg Giggs, Sir Thomas More’s twenty-three-year-old
adopted daughter. Intelligent, headstrong, and tender-hearted, Meg has been
schooled in the healing arts. And though she is devoted to her family, events
conspire that will cause Meg to question everything she thought she
knew—including the desires of her own heart. As the danger to More and his
family increases, two men will vie for Meg’s affections: John Clement, her
former tutor and More’s protégé, who shares Meg’s passion for medicine but
whose true identity will become unclear; and the great Holbein, whose artistic
vision will forever alter her understanding of the world.
With a striking sense of period detail, Portrait of an Unknown Woman is an unforgettable story of sin and
religion, desire and deception. It is the story of a young woman on the brink
of sensual awakening and of a country on the edge of mayhem. Download and start listening now!