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The Pretty Gentleman
The Pretty Gentleman
A queer historical thriller set in the art world of Regency London (1810-20).
George Rowlands, an aspiring young painter and apprentice to his father in the Haymarket theatre, meets Sir Henry Wallace while drawing the river at Richmond. Wallace invites George to his home in St. James’s square to draw his collection of sculpture and his good-looking valet Gregorio Franchese. Securing him a place to study painting at the Royal Academy of Arts under the eccentric Gothic painter, Henry Fuseli, George meets the mysterious John McCarther who befriends him. Meanwhile, Lady Arabella Wallace records in her diary her suspicions about her husband’s night-time absences and his ‘enthusiasm’ for his new protégé. George discovers his every move with Wallace is being watched after Wallace confesses his love for him.
When a secret male brothel, the White Swan, is raided, Henry Wallace receives a letter of extortion that appears to be in George’s handwriting and he cuts all ties with him. Afraid for his life, George goes into hiding, living secretly with John McCarther. After Gregorio Franchese is found murdered in Wallace’s home, suspicion falls on George after erotic drawings of Gregorio are discovered in his possession along with a blood-stained razor engraved with his initials. However, Lady Arabella Wallace knows that all is not as it appears to be, and that the past can never be escaped. Determined to prove George’s innocence to save him from the gallows, she is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the truth.
Mixing history with passion and drama, and touching on the dark and erotic aspects of the all-male Royal Academy, The Pretty Gentleman is a historical thriller which explores the themes of love, power, betrayal and truth in Regency society.
Max Fincher is the author of 'Queering Gothic in the Romantic Age' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He is a freelance tutor and writer, and lives in the UK. 'The Pretty Gentleman' is his first novel.
File Size: 521 KB
Print Length: 306 pages
Publisher: Max Fincher (September 16, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.