Melanie Fraser

About me

I was born in Pinner, England & brought up on Jersey, near France. I have a Master’s degree in Medieval & Tudor Studies as well as holding a BA in art history.

It is through the lives of artists & their work that provides inspiration for my novels. Nicholas Hilliard is such a character.

The Truth of the Line is about Hilliard & his relationship with Elizabeth I & her Court. A novel is the perfect way of exploring the symbolism in his portraits of Elizabeth whilst weaving his life story with events of the time. From original documents & images I explore his association with two Queens, his relationship with influential Tudor Courtiers and the possibility he stumbled on a dark secret of Elizabeth & Robert Dudley. My interpretations may be considered controversial. I have tried to look at Catholic medieval symbolism through the Hilliard’s Protestant eyes to suggest other meanings to his portraits of the Virgin Queen. It is up to the reader to choose to believe them, or not

From my website

The Birth of a Princess

“Hear Ye, Hear Ye:  Today the queen was safely delivered of a Princess!” Imagine the English people waiting in anticipation of the arrival of a prince and future king of England hearing those words and instead they hear of the birth of a Princess.  The birth of Princess Elizabeth must…

Sonnet XXIV – William Shakespeare

I was asked recently why I used Sonnet XXIV by William Shakespeare at the beginning of The Truth of the Line? Mine eye hath play’d the painter and hath steel’d  Thy beauty’s form in table of my heart;  My body is the frame wherein ’tis held,  And perspective it is…

26th July 1576 An artistic love match?

On 26th July 1576 Nicholas Hilliard married the daughter of Robert Brandon, Alice. Hilliard had been apprenticed to the goldsmith Robert Brandon since November 1562, becoming a master goldsmith himself in 1569. Nicholas Hilliard self-portrait Alice as she is nowV&A Museum, London Nicholas was born in 1547 to Richard and…

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