By Jeffrey Ford
A mysterious and richly evocative novel, The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque tells the tale of portraitist Piero Piambo, who's provided a fee not like the other. the customer is Mrs. Charbuque, a filthy rich and elusive lady who asks Piambo to color her portrait, even though with one weird and wonderful twist: he may possibly query her at size on any subject, yet he would possibly not, less than any situations, see her. So starts an magnificent trip into Mrs. Charbuque's international and the realm of 1893 big apple society during this hypnotically compelling literary mystery.
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Extra resources for The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque
Usually he had singled out more than one for preservation. Since the black velvet absorbed heat that would alter the forms of the crystals after a brief period, we could not leave the flakes on the material for too long a time. In answer to this problem, my father had perfected the ability to hold up, at one time, as many as twenty toothpicks between his thumbs and forefingers. This was a delicate process, and I had to pump the atomizer ball with just the right amount of force so that the mist would cover the samples completely but not blow them away.
I began, and then proceeded to tell him the whole thing, including Mrs. Charbuque’s fairy tale of snow and solitude. 52 ( ( S A LVAT I O N I Shenz and saw that his eyes were closed and he was leaning back in his chair. I thought for a moment that he had succumbed to his cigarette and was now off in some other land where haloed maidens sported with lambs and the armored chestplates of knights pressed the nubile breasts of water nymphs, but then he spoke, one word. “Salvation,” he said in a groggy voice, and leaned forward wearily to train his glassy eyes upon me.
That night it became a moot point, because the clouds had moved in and it was obvious a great storm was brewing. The supply team set off without waiting until morning, hoping to make it down the mountain before a blizzard struck. “When the snows started, although it was late, my father insisted that we take a sample. This we did with great difficulty, since the wind was high and the temperature more bitter than I had ever 44 The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque felt it. Inside the laboratory we went through the usual routine, setting up and lighting the viewing stage, my father ascending the ladder to his seat.
The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque by Jeffrey Ford