Shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2019
This illustrated biography follows Nicholas Hilliard’s long and remarkable life (c. 1547–1619) from the West Country to the heart of the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts. It showcases new archival research and stunning images, many reproduced in colour for the first time.
Hilliard’s portraits – some no larger than a watch-face – have decisively shaped perceptions of the appearances and personalities of many key figures in one of the most exciting, if volatile, periods in British history. His sitters included Elizabeth I, James I, and Mary, Queen of Scots; explorers Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh; and members of the emerging middle class from which he himself hailed. Hilliard counted the Medici, the Valois, the Habsburgs, and the Bourbons among his Continental European patrons and admirers.
‘A landmark scholarly biography . . . Goldring excavates the connections that let an Exeter goldsmith become an artist renowned at the courts of Europe. She has rescued a Renaissance in miniature’ Guardian