A well-told and startling historical novel about a talented painter burdened with a big secret
1620. An unexpected visit from his main assistant, master painter Anthony van Dyck, leaves Peter Paul Rubens stumped. Van Dyck had been well-known as a child prodigy in Antwerp for many years and under Rubens’ influence, he progressed quickly. Now, Anthony has been made responsible for a major, honourable assignment, to which he devotes his full attention and which will help him further his career even more. In spite of all this, he drops out and leaves for London, to paint at the court of the eccentric King James in Whitehall Palace. He leaves behind not only Rubens, but also his family, in particular his favourite sister Susanna, who has also helped influence his career.
Why such haste? Why would he land Rubens, who’s been more of a father to him than his own father, in this much trouble? Why is Susanna suddenly playing an important role again, from her special perspective? And where does all of this lead?
Brenda Meuleman was intrigued by Anthony van Dyck’s unlikely talent. In Bold Ambition, she captures the painter’s formative years in a novel full of momentum, adventure, love and emotion.Contact us
Rome, 22 BC. The intelligent Greek slave Aigle is the mainstay and teacher of Julia, daughter of Emperor Augustus. She is very closely involved with the imperial family. A friendship, though unequal, develops between Aigle and Julia. Slowly but surely, cracks begin to form in their relationship. Then, when Aigle has been in service for over twenty years, the unthinkable happens: Julia is banished to an island by her father. Aigle is consumed by guilt. Could she have prevented this? She decides to fight for what she believes in.
The Betrayal of Julia is a smoothly written novel that effortlessly evokes Roman times. Meuleman draws you into a story that grips you until the very last page.
Praise for The Betrayal of Julia:
‘So vividly written it feels as if you’re actually there. I couldn’t put it down.’ – Liesbeth Stoof, Van Kralingen Bookshop
‘A brilliant, readable story. I can picture it all.’ – Amber Martensen, Thomas BookshopContact us