Bright and musically gifted, Juan Hidalgo grows up in the Madrid of the early sixteen-hundreds. Employed as a harpist in the court of King Philip IV, he is soon writing his own music and sharing in the life of the court. The King confounds his expectations by being a charming and helpful man, and a fellow musician. When Juan makes a happy marriage both his family life and career seem to be falling into place. His wife rewards him with a son. The King is amazed when he witnesses Juan's escape from death while saving another. Soon to be engaged by the Inquisition, Juan agrees, in a crucial test of loyalty, to act as a clandestine agent for his king. Yet new risks await him in Rome where he has to succeed or Spain will collapse into bankruptcy. In Italy, new ambitions form. On the verge of achieving them, his family life is blighted by a cruel fate. How will he deal with death and insanity? At once tragic and uplifting, Gordon Thomas has penned a rich portrait of art and society when Spain is in upheaval. He lets an intimate member tell of his life and loves.
Gordon Thomas was born in Salisbury, England in 1945. In 1969 he gained a PhD in nuclear physics and in 1972 became employed in the UK Home Office where he and his team conducted some of the original work in fingerprint science. After taking a range of administrative and scientific posts he retired in 2003. At 68 he is one of our oldest 'debut' novelists with the unique and beautiful story of 'The Harpist of Madrid'. He lives with his wife, Janet, in Worcester Park, in the London Borough of Sutton.
Gordon's blog is at www.theharpistofmadrid.com