I am constantly impressed by the talent and creativity
of contemporary authors of today.
I have recently read two books by Charlotte Betts which are
set in the seventeenth century.
I enjoyed reading both of these books.
The Painter's Apprentice is a wonderful descriptive story of London
set during the time of James II and depicts life as it was during
those fascinating times in London. Horses and carriages, an elegant style of living and the manners and mores of the times are evident in the writing.
The settings of London and its surrounds are quite fascinating and
the characters of the story are endearing.
I loved the romance of the story of Beth who falls in love with a
a budding and ambitious architect from the New World
who assists Sir Christopher Wren with many
of the new works including a church which are flourishing in London at this time.
Beth visits London to assist the Bishop at Fulham Palace with drawing and depicting the flowers and plants of his botanical gardens.
Beth has come from an unusual but loving home whereby her parents
helped and assisted unfortunate people of society who did not have
anywhere else to go to and would have been sent to the Bedlam Asylum
if not for the repose offered at Beth's home of Merryfields.
It was here
that Beth gained her invaluable skills as an apprentice painter to one of the
long term residents. This aspect of the story is quite fascinating with
variable descriptions of previous events in history which may have affected
some of the residents.
The story also gives an indication of the times and the way of life of seventeenth
century London. The mood of the times, the populace of London and
aspects of the reign of James II are also described.
The story gives descriptions of the events which eventually
lead to the Glorious Revolution and Princess Mary, daughter of James II and her
husband, William of Orange, succeeding to the throne of England.
The romance and sense of adventure, the fascinating portrayal of members of Beth's
family and the enduring beauty of many of the scenes with descriptive and expressive
writing give credence to this wonderful story.