The unmarried younger daughter of a country vicar, she published her novels anonymously. When she died, aged only 41 – having earned less than £700 from her writing – her name was still almost unknown to the world at large. That two centuries after her death she should be one of the best-‐known and best-‐loved authors in the English language is one of history’s greater ironies.
Recording likeness was fundamental to the idea of the Renaissance, and capturing lifelike figures in highly resolved paintings and sculptures relied upon accurate observational skills in drawing. Fine-tuning these skills allowed artists to capture the world as they experienced it, recreating accurate perspective and proportion. Highly skilled artists across Europe varied their approach to these principles, and the range of materials to hand meant that drawings from this period, fifty of which are beautifully reproduced in this book