Author(s): Clare Colvin
Louis XIV dreams of constructing a Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. But the only craftsmen who know the secret process are prisoners of the Venetian Republic. The promise of riches prompts a renegade group of mirror-makers to risk the severest punishment by the Venetian authorities.
A splendid historical theme made into a novel about the ancient secret Venetian process of making mirrors. Louis XIV is building Versailles and dreams of constructing a great Hall of Mirrors, but the glass-makers are prisoners in Murano in the Venetian Republic. With promises of great riches, Louis' controller of finances, Colbert, entices a few individuals to France, including Sandro Allegri, who is disinherited by his father. Sandro becomes involved not only in palace politics, but also one of the king's mistresses. As with Janet Gleeson's non-fiction story about the invention of European porcelain, the Arcanum, it makes a wonderful tale about a little-known aspect of history. A truly remarkable read.
Clare Colvin's first novel, A Fatal Season, received excellent reviews. She is also a well-known journalist and short story writer whose work has appeared in anthologies, on radio and has been translated in Europe. She writes regularly for national newspapers and magazines and is a former editor of the Express on Sunday.