“Both a satire of the art world and a romance … It's mischievous, fun and on the money” – Tatler -
Hannah Rothschild is a writer, documentary film maker and Chair of the National Gallery. The Improbability of Love is her first novel, and tells the story of Annie McDee, single and skint, who buys, almost on impulse, a grimy, unprepossing painting in a junk shop; little does she know it's 'The Improbability of Love' a lost masterpiece by Antoine Watteau, one of the greatest painters of the 18th Century. We're drawn immediately into the cut-throat and deeply glamorous art world, peopled by exiled oligarchs and unscrupulous dealers, the super wealthy and the avaricious, all of whom would do anything to possess the painting.
The Improbability of Love is brilliantly vivid, at once a glorious page turner and an exquisitely penned satire of the art scene, where the astonishingly high stakes encourage people to unbecoming behaviour. I devoured it whilst on holiday, and had enormous fun trying to identify some of the characters (there's one that's deliciously Nicky Haslam-esque, and I'm sure you'll spot others) - of course, it is fiction and not a roman a clef, but Hannah knows intimately of what she writes - she has been a trustee of the ICA and the Whitechapel Gallery, is liaison trustee of the Tate, and is the first woman Chair of the National Gallery. In addition, she is trustee of the Rothschild Foundation, dedicated to preserving the treasures of Waddeson Manor for its current owner, The National Trust.
Join me and Hannah Rothchild at Annabels on 15th September as Hannah shares the six books that have informed and inspired her writing life - sparkling literary chat will be washed down with a glass of Bollinger, and each ticket includes a hardback copy of The Impossibility of Love and a bar of Prestat chocolate to nibble on the way home as well as a six month subscription to Tatler.
The Books That Built Me is a literary desert island discs - for a taste of what's in store, listen to a podcast of previous Books That Built Me with India Knight or Justine Picardie, on Mrs Trefusis Takes A Taxi (mrstrefusis.blogspot.com)
'How the books you love meet the books you write' Sarah Churchwell, author of Careless People; Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of the Great Gatsby.
Do you have questions about THE BOOKS THAT BUILT ME: HANNAH ROTHSCHILD, AUTHOR OF THE IMPROBABILITY OF LOVE, 15TH SEPTEMBER 2015?
Contact Helen Brocklebank