"Begiebing grounds his story in documented historical events and credible characters, thoughtfully exploring how [J.M.W.] Turner blurred the line between art and pornography. Quotes from Ruskin, cameo appearances by famous Victorians, and portraits of artists as young men and independent women all enhance this attempt to unveil what The Turner Erotica has to tell us about art, love, and life." -- Publishers Weekly
Spotlight Publicity is pleased to announce award winning author Robert Begiebing’s newest work of historical fiction The Turner Erotica which releases on April 16th through Ilium press. An east coast tour launches April 16th at Water Street Books in Exeter NH. More information can be found at www.begiebing.com
J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851), the greatest British landscape painter and one of the most revolutionary influences on Western art since the eighteenth century, left upon his death a rich and varied legacy to Britain’s National Gallery, including more than 19,000 sketch studies containing considerable erotica. When John Ruskin, Turner’s greatest supporter at the time, discovered the erotic works, he, with the help of National Gallery Keeper Ralph Wornum, burned most of the material they found offensive. The Turner Erotica follows narrator William James Stillman (the young American artist, Consul to Rome and Crete, friend of Ruskin, and acquaintance of Turner) as he pursues a dangerous quest across Britain, Europe, and New England to discover and save the few remaining studies that through theft and betrayal escaped Ruskin’s outraged fire. In his quest, Stillman enlists the help of Pre-Raphaelite William Rossetti, the liberated American painter Allegra Fullerton, and Sir Richard Burton (the greatest linguist, swordsman, pistol-shot, and covert agent for the British government in the 19th century). Stillman’s obsession with the surviving erotic studies arises out of their potential value to British art history and his deep sense that the studies contain a secret clue to the master’s celebrated body of public work.
Begiebing is the author of six previous books, a play, and thirty articles and stories. His books include a trilogy of novels spanning 1648-1850. His novel Rebecca Wentworth’s Distraction won the Langum Prize for historical fiction. The Strange Death of Mistress Coffin was chosen as a Main Selection for the Mystery and Literary Guild Book Clubs and is currently optioned for a film. His novels have been favorably reviewed in The New York Times, The Times of London, The Los Angeles Times, Publisher’s Weekly, Yankee Magazine, and Library Journal, among other periodicals. His fiction writing has been supported by grants from the Lila-Wallace Foundation and the New Hampshire Council for the Arts. In 2007, NH Governor John Lynch appointed Begiebing to the Council for the Arts. In 2009 he served both as one of the inaugural faculty members at the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony and as finalist judge for the Langum Prize. He continues to teach at the colony and is the founding director of the Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction at Southern New Hampshire University.
Spotlight Publicity is pleased to announce the twentieth anniversary edition of Robert Begiebing’s The Strange Death of Mistress Coffin released through The University Press of New England. The novel, set in 17th-century New England (based on Exeter’s first murder case) is available as both e-book and hard-copy formats.
Originally published the early 1990s, Mistress Coffin was widely and enthusiastically reviewed, was a Main Selection in The Literary Guild, The Mystery Guild, and Doubleday Book Clubs, and is currently optioned for a film. “When Mistress Coffin recently became purchasable from Algonquin Books,” Begiebing says, “UPNE saw an opportunity to make the complete New England trilogy spanning 1648-1850 available from one publishing house. I’m very thankful to UPNE for their faith in this novel.” Mistress Coffin was the first installment of the trilogy that includes Rebecca Wentworth’s Distraction and The Adventures of Allegra Fullerton, also available from UPNE in both e-book and hard copy formats.
For more information visit www.begiebing.com
“Not since Kenneth Roberts has anyone written of early New England life in such vivid and convincing detail... A gifted Writer with an extraordinary feeling for the past.”—Annie Proulx, New York Times Book Review
“Begiebing illuminates the dark and wonderful intricacy of the human heart.”--Yankee Magazine
“This is not ordinary mystery. Just imagine Peyton Place as Hawthorne might have written it.”--Booklist
“A great achievement of imagination and research.”--Boston Magazine
Book Trailer for The Strange Death of Mistress Coffin