The Lost Pre Raphaelite
When the author bought a fortified house in Staffordshire, he discovered a mysterious set of relationships revolving round a now almost forgotten artist. Robert Bateman, a prominent Pre-Raphaelite, was the son of a local millionaire and was to marry the granddaughter of the Earl of Carlisle. But he had abandoned his life as a public artist in mid-career to live as a recluse, while his father lost his money, and his glamorous wife-to-be had married the local vicar, already in his sixties and shortly to die. The discovery of two paintings by Bateman, both clearly autobiographical, led to an absorbing forensic investigation into Bateman's life. The story moves from Staffordshire to Lahore in India, to Canada, to Wyoming, and then, via Buffalo Bill to Peru and back to England. En route the author pieces together an astonishing story of love and loss, of art and politics, of morality and hypocrisy, of family secrets, concealed but never quite completely obscured.