In eighteenth century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.For Genevieve Planch, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of intern...
|Number of Pages||:||439 pages|
The Blue Reviews
I have just finished reading this book as a serial with The Pigeonhole and it gripped me from the first stave to the last. I even found myself re-reading each day's portion just to stay close to the story. It seems a perfect blend of many themes that interest me: history, of course! Very good writing, with words beautifully chosen and put together. England, France, beauty, colour, art, science, religion, philosophy, faith, conviction, food, parties even! Generous dollops of romance, enigmatic vi ...more
Well my reading year just kicked off with a BANG! Nancy Bilyeau has truly written a masterpiece of a novel! It has everything I look for in a good historical fiction novel - to be education yet entertained, to be taken back in time and immersed in a new world, and I loved every minute I spent within the pages.
Genevieve is a young Hugenot woman living in England who yearns to become a painter in a time where women were not welcome.
"We are females that do not fit into the world we must live in."
We have so much colour in our lives that we forget that there was a time when dyes and colours weren't as easily accessible. The Blue explores the details of the search for the perfect shade of blue, that dazzling, transcendent magic which transforms an ordinary piece of porcelain into the most prized possession. However, Genevieve Planché, is not really interested in the finer points of porcelain, what she wants is to become a respected artist, but as a woman in a man's world this is proving to ...more
Ok guys, I’m not going to beat around the bush about The Blue: this is simply the best historical novel I have read this year. I had already devoured and enjoyed three books by Nancy Bilyeau, set under the Tudors. The Blue surpasses them all.
A superb combination of plot and research, rich characters, suspenseful scenes, a smart ending: The Blue reveals the perfect formula for a historical mystery focused on industrial espionage in 18th century England. Will definitely be in your list of best of ...more
The Blue is a novel which wears its research lightly and moves at a cracking pace. Genevieve Planche is a strong-willed and adventurous character, who refuses to settle for the dull life of a porcelain painter and instead sets her sights on becoming a true artist. Recruited as a spy within the Derby factory, with the promise of the teacher she desperately needs, she is soon in deep trouble. In the quest to uncover the secret of making the colour blue, which will revive the porcelain industry, th ...more
I have read all historical fiction written by this author. I left no notes on my previous reads, so I will try to serve myself better with reminders of what I liked about this stand alone book exploring the world of porcelain during reign of Louis XV. Our narrator is a young unmarried woman who was endowed with modern day determination and rebellion, so that always gives me pause in reading historical fiction. Nevertheless, she carried us through the changing landscape however implausible much o ...more
Since reading the Joanna Stafford trilogy (The Crown, The Chalice and The Tapestry) a few years ago, I’ve been waiting and hoping for a new book from Nancy Bilyeau and here it is at last: The Blue. Bilyeau wrote so convincingly about Tudor England in the Joanna Stafford books that I was surprised to find she was switching to an entirely different period for this latest novel – the Seven Years War of 1756 to 1763, a war which involved most of Europe, with Britain and France on opposite sides. Set ...more
The best way to describe this book in a word is “colourful”. Set in the 18th century in both England (for the main part) and France, it is the tale of a feisty, smart, talented young woman Genevieve Planché, a French Huguenot living in England. Her quick wit and unusual outlook on most things immediately endear her to the reader. Being a talented artist, her dream is to draw under the pupillage of a master artist but in England, this is unthinkable for a woman. At the time, the most valued curre ...more