Review of ‘The King’s Painter’ by Franny Moyle

I had bought this book for a 99p Kindle deal about two years ago and recently decided I ought to read it. Unfortunately it was a bit of a let-down, but maybe it’s my fault for being enticed by the cover. The writing style was quite dry and the details were often speculative because there wasn’t evidence. I enjoyed the first chapter, but the rest of the book mostly didn’t grip me. I liked another of the author’s books, about Oscar Wilde’s wife, but this book was more like the one about Turner, which I hadn’t liked, so I suppose it was going to be a gamble.

Book cover, showing Hans Holbein's portrait of Henry VIII.

The book is about the life of Hans Holbein the Younger, who became a very famous artist in the Tudor era. He was responsible for the way we see many of the important people, most notably Henry VIII. The images were my favourite element of the book. I did pick up some interesting facts, so it wasn’t a waste of time, but the way it was written lacked appeal, although I’m sure it was excellently researched.

Published in 2021 by Apollo.

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