By Ross King
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By the author of the acclaimed Brunelleschi's Dome.
After meeting the mysterious and beautiful Lady Beauclair at a society ball, George Cautley, a hapless young artist adrift in the gilded world of 1770s London, paints her portrait. She, in turn, tells him the scandalous story of Tristano, a castrato singer in Handel's opera company fifty years before. But Cautley also meets the eminent painter Sir Endymion Starker that same evening and his mistress, Eleanora, who has another tragic tale to tell, one that will have George unwittingly re-enacting the fate of Tristano...