Friday, 10 March 2017

Come and meet the novelist ... (then let me know if you recognise him!)


Hello, hello, come in, make yourself at home.

I would introduce you to my other guest today it's just that ... I don't know his name.

Round here, whenever we pass him by, we simply nod cordially and greet him as 'Novelist' (a bit like how Seinfeld always greeted Newman.)

But maybe you do know his name, maybe you've seen his face somewhere before, maybe he's familiar to you.

Do you, have you, is he?? Here, have a closer look ...
So - you might well be asking - if I don't know who he is, how do I know he's a novelist?

I think I can just sense it in his face. His eyes feel like a novelists eyes, his artistic, middle distance stare. His strong nose and soft mouth are held like a novelist's. His sideburns sit like a novelist's sideburns ...

Well, that and the fact that it says 'Novelist' on the back of the frame: 
But apart from that single word I know nothing about this portrait. (I think all the label read was '19th Century portrait 'Novelist''.)

You might already know that I have a head collection (for any passing law enforcers no, not real heads, but ornaments and dolls' heads) and I've been interested in expanding this into painted portraits ever since I saw an exhibition of artist Julian Opie's personal collection of  head sculptures and portraits at Bowes Museum in 2015.

Then, last summer, while James and I were browsing one of the many, many, many rooms at Hemswell Antiques Centre in Lincolnshire I came face to face with the handsome chap ... and it was kind of love at first sight.

Can't you just imagine him wandering into a scene from a Jane Austen novel? Or maybe you're more of a Bronte fan?
That same summer I'd decided that I'd try my hand at writing a novel, which, until then was something I'd never really thought would happen. And - coming across Mr.Novelist at that time - seemed like a sign I hadn't even been looking for.

So, reader, I bought him. 

He lives with me, I see him every day, we chat (admittedly, I do most of the talking while he listens thoughtfully and nurtures his Strong Silent aura), but  I still don't know who he is.
  • Maybe he is a famous novelist of the 1800s (I think that's the right era judging by the clothes - don't you think?) - and I just don't recognise him. It's not like many of them have Instagram accounts for me to check out their selfies.
  • Maybe he's or a forgotten novelist and that's why he's not familiar. 
  • Maybe he's an amateur novelist and someone just fancied painting him (I can't imagine you'd write 'Novelist' on the back of something you'd commissioned for yourself. Although - if I ever do get my novel written - I'll probably go around writing 'Novelist' on everything.) 
  • Or maybe he never wrote a word of a novel in his life and was simply a sitter for an artist creating a series of works featuring different occupations. 
Who knows? Maybe you do! 


If he looks in the slightest bit familiar do get in touch. 



And please feel free to share his mugshot with any of your literature loving friends too and maybe, between us we will #findthenovelist 

And if we don't then it won't change how I feel about him. There's nothing quite like an air of mystery to keep a girl interested ...

Julie x


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