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W&N History Hb July £20.00 512pp 978 0 297 85211 7 ebook: £20.00 / 978 1 474 60558 8

LEONIE FRIEDA king Francis I of France

The author of the bestselling Catherine de Medici turns to her father-in-law, king Francis, who turned France into a great nation.

king Francis I (1494–1547) was the perfect Renaissance knight, the movement’s exemplar and its Gallic interpreter. A renowned patron of the arts (he acquired Leonardo da vinci’s Mona Lisa), diplomat par excellence and contemporary of Machiavelli, he was the founder of modern France, whose sheer force of will and personality moulded his kingdom into the first European superpower. With access to private archives that have never been used in a study of Francis I, Leonie Frieda explores the life of a man who was the most human of the monarchs of the period, and yet remains the most elusive.

leonie Frieda speaks five languages and is a member of the Institute of Linguists. Her biography of Catherine de Medici was a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic and was translated into six languages.

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Location: London, SW1 Available for interview www.leoniefrieda.com

W&N Non-fiction • July 2017

W&N biography Hb July £25.00 320pp 978 1 474 60052 1 ebook: £25.00 / 978 1 474 60053 8

JAMES HAMILTON Thomas Gainsborough Portrait of an Age

The first modern biography of the life of the great eighteenth-century artist.

Thomas Gainsborough is the quintessential painter of Georgian England. but while Gainsborough’s work has been displayed fruitfully in exhibitions and in country-house collections, there is no modern full-length biography of the artist himself. James Hamilton’s vibrant account sets the artist in his period and society, and reveals how he emerged out of a Suffolk background to express his genius within the society of Ipswich, bath and London. Hamilton draws a striking picture of the social, literary and musical background in London, bath and provincial Suffolk and chronicles Gainsborough’s ambivalent and eventually acrimonious relationship with the Royal Academy, and his taste for the high life.

James hamilton is a critically acclaimed biographer and curator. His most recent book, A Strange Business: Making Art and Money in Nineteenth-Century Britain, was named by the Sunday Times as the Art book of the Year in 2014.

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Location: birmingham Available for interview www.jhhamilton.co.uk