Travels in Southern England – The Bath Literature Festival

Day 5

5 March 2015

Books about real historical figures are very much in evidence at this year’s Festival. This afternoon I attended a talk by Matthew Plampin about the artist Turner. However the book he has written is a historical novel about one week in his early life when he competes for a commission against fellow artist Tom Girtin. The author showed slides of both artists’ paintings and compared their styles.

Girtin died at a much younger age than Turner (probably from asthma) and had he lived longer might have become the more famous but for some reason Girtin was not motivated to paint for posterity. The contrast between the two seems to be a fascinating idea for a story which I suspect is well worth a read.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

William Turner & Tom Girtin
Will & Tom by Matthew Plampin is published by The Borough Press
and is available in hardcover, paperback and as an ebook.

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