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Mona Lisa by Alexander Lernet-Holenia
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The greatest love story never told.

'Love does not need any comforting. It does not even need requiting. All it needs is itself.'

Florence, 1502. Marshal Louis de La Trémouille's small army has stopped off en route to Naples, to buy objects d'art for King Louis XII of France. Naturally, Leonardo da Vinci's workshop is on the shopping list; and during their visit to his house, the young nobleman de Bougainville chances upon the not-quite-finished Mona Lisa. He promptly, utterly and hopelessly falls in love with the woman in the painting, and is determined to find her - despite rumours that she has long ago died. A visit to an empty tomb, assault upon an Italian nobleman's mansion, duel and execution later, the secret of la Gioconda's smile is (possibly) revealed.

An entertaining story, told with style - about love, life, art, and the Quixotic things that a man will do to realise his dream.

Alexander Lernet-Holenia (1897-1976) was a prolific and popular screenwriter, wrote several novels (including the acclaimed noir thriller I Was Jack Mortimer, published by Pushkin Press), was a multi-award winning lyrical poet admired by Rilke and Hofmannsthal, and earned Stefan Zweig's praise as the 'most noble of our dramatic poets'. Though greatly admired as a writer, his delight in provocation frequently made him unpopular with the authorities - be it the National Socialist Ministry of Propaganda during the war, or the tax office and the army after it. He nevertheless collected all the most important national literary awards, including the Great Austrian State Prize, and was elected the President of Austrian PEN in 1969.

Pushkin Press; Read online
Title: Mona Lisa
Author: Alexander Lernet-Holenia; Ignat Avsey; Neil Gower

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