The House of TekeldenHardback
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- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Format: Hardback | 64 pages
- Dimensions: 160mm x 212mm x 18mm | 440g
- Publication date: 7 November 2005
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0747580413
- ISBN 13: 9780747580416
- Illustrations note: Illustrations (chiefly col.)
Starting with Rattila the Hund and his Sack of Rome in 463, this remarkable history follows the fortunes of his descendants, both distinguished and notorious, across the centuries and records their achievements through celebrated family portraits by leading painters of the day including Van Dyck, Whistler and Picasso. The great Ratbrandt was a member of the Tekelden family, and of course famously painted himself painting his wife. Meet Jan Tekelden, a famous gourmet whose love of garlic and leeks was eulogised by Chaucer in his famous narrative poem, 'The Rat's Tail', and who was painted by Van Eyck around 1425. Then there is Odo the Odious, Cardinal Lord Bishop of Bavaria, about whom little is known but that he had 'a most horrible' dungeon in his castle, 'full of instruments of torture', and that one of his favourite pastimes was to feast his rivals on poisoned pork pies. And of course there are the celebrated women of the family, from Katherine Paw to the acclaimed beauty, la Ratte Ravissante and Madame Rattier, wife of the rakish Flush Tekelden. This is history at its best - rich in vice and greed, gambling and gourmandise, grandeur and glory. The House of Tekelden will be a delight for adults and children of all ages, as well as a glorious introduction to the history of art.
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This extraordinary book was given as a present to Lucinda Lambton's mother Belinda in 1945 and dedicated to Flower, a black and tan dachshund. It was both written and painted by an unsung genius Denys Dawnay 'in the almost certainly vain hope' (he wrote) 'that the history of his ancestors will teach Flower to improve'. Cherished by the Lambton family for over sixty years, this unique work is now available to the wider public for the first time.