This week, I had the good fortune to attend the launch of Suzannah Lipscomb's excellent new book, The Visitors' Companion to Tudor England, at the sumptuous Dover Street gallery of Philip Mould, the Antiques Roadshow picture expert. We were surrounded by mouth-watering Tudor and - more importantly - Georgian portraiture, and I came over quite unnecessary.
One of the paintings was by Thomas Gainsborough's nephew and pupil, Gainsborough Dupont, and was a portrait of Augustus Hervey, an 18th-century celeb who'll be appearing in one of The Gin Lane Gazette's sexier news stories. Without giving too much away, Hervey was a naval captain and pork swordsman of great renown, and I shall be regaling my readers with one of his hair-raising amatory adventures in foreign (and a foreigner's) parts. Philip has very kindly sent me a photograph of the portrait, which I'll use as the basis for my caricature of the salty seaman.
I am also delighted to announce that the good folk of Unbound have appointed the lovely Laura Jones as my Author Champion. Laura will be taking up some of the promotional slack while I get on with the business of actually writing the book. We're also assembling a Gin Lane Gazette Facebook page, and we'll let you know when that's ready for eye-casting. Laura is a Twitter neophyte, so do please welcome her, if you are a tweety type. She is @LauraLouiseJo. Suzannah Lipscomb is @sixteenthCgirl, and Mr. Mould is @philipmould.
It only remains for me to entreat you to continue spreading the word about the book, and I look forward to babbling at you again soon-ish.
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