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Hannah Rothschild Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Improbability of Love (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Baroness (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Hannah Rothschild is a British author of biography, fiction and art novels. She is also a philanthropist, a filmmaker and a member on the boards of different organizations. Rothschild was born on 22nd Mau 1962 and attended St Hilda’s College in Oxford and St Paul’s Girls’ School in Marlborough.

As a filmmaker, Hannah Rothschild has produced award-winning films for BBC and HBO. Rothschild wrote a biography about her great-aunt Pannonica Keonigswarter titled The Baroness published in 2012 by Virago. The author’s debut novel The Improbability of Love was released in 2015. The story follows a female main character that finds a lost Watteau and becomes entangled in the trade of the art world’s elite.

The Improbability of Love

The Improbability of Love kicks off when preparations are underway for the auction of a highly priced-highly sought-after painting known as “The Improbability of Love.” The author introduces the readers to all different key bidders after this piece of artwork- the rap singer, the Russian tycoon, the American collector, government agents from France and Britain, etc. They are all described in details to help the readers understand each character and their motive as well.

Hannah Rothschild does a fantastic job in creating detailed descriptions of the art world. The Improbability of Love painting is revealed to be the work of an 18th-century French artists Watteau. The painting itself narrates some parts of the novel- and through chapters, we get to learn how the antiquity came to be and how a severe case of unreciprocated love inspired it. We also learn how the picture passed through the hands of popes, kings, and emperors.

Additionally, the reader also learns about the marks on the back of canvases, canvases, paints and the unhappy short life of the artist whose work Rothschild admires.

A young woman named Annie buys the Improbability of Love art badly discolored by dirt, grease and the dirt of the decades from a junk store. Reading the story, we get to learn a lot about the restoration of the art and the scientific techniques used to determine its authenticity. All these details are fascinating. We also get to learn that Annie is a chef who’s recovering from a failed love relationship. There is Jesse, the man who falls in love with Annie and helps her in her quest to discover the origin of the work. At first, Annie is not romantically interested in Jesse, but through the story, she gradually discovers his strengths.

The picture was previously owned by a Jewish dealer who survived a holocaust and started a famous auction house. The man keeps on discovering great Old Masters and other works that build his fortune. However, there is more to the dealer’s story than meets the eye- it is through the Jewish dealer that readers get to learn about Nazi grand theft of art.

The story also introduces other characters- some who are more convincing than other with each representing different aspect of the art business. The indigent British man is trying to stay afloat, a fashion advisor, and experts who dedicate their lives to studying artists. Tension rise when the main character, Annie gets entangled in a world of a diabolical plot.

Hannah Mary Rothschild, a descendant of the banking dynasty, published her first nonfiction “The Baroness,” a story about a great-aunt who deserted her family to become a patron of jazz. By contrast, the author’s debut novel, The Improbability of Love is a cheery, bumpy satire of the corruption and consumption in the London art world. This is a beautiful fiction ideal for readers who find Downton Abbey, (the historical period drama TV series) too bleakly realistic.
Rothschild cast is blessed with ridiculously farcical names such as M. Power Dub-Box, a “rap god” show shows at the auction in the first few pages of the novel at an auction with a group of squirming nearly naked women.

At the core of the narrative lies a weighty question about the true value of work of art in a market that has transformed to a convenient way for the rich to bury their wealth and polish their reputations, a cutthroat game that public museums and the government can barely play. While only a cynic would say that a painting is worth what someone is willing to pay, the story itself is not cynical even though most of the characters are.

The only exception is Annie, our struggling heroine who comes across an old but entrancing picture at a store and buys it as a gift for the man she loves. Unfortunately, the man dumps her leaving her with what later turns out to be a lost 18th-century work of art. The painting drives its admirers and owners into a sudden outburst of desire. At some point in the story, the picture itself address the readers expanding the historical narrative reach.

The main character, Annie is an outsider to the art realm and also shies to its machinations. She’s just arrived in London with a broken heart, overburdened by the mess of her alcoholic mother who plays a crucial role at the advancing plot. She attracts the attention of a gentle-natured man at London’s Wallace Collection who aids her in researching and discovering the painting’s origins and surprisingly falls in love.

Unfortunately, Annie accepts a job as a private chef for a very powerful art dealer and all it’s not what it seems for the aging patriarch. He’s determined to do whatever it takes to cover his past in which his new chef plays a crucial role.

The Baroness

The Baroness is a biography of Hannah Rothschild great-aunt, Pannonica Rothschild aka Nica the youngest of four children in her family. For Pannonica, being a scion of the Rothschild family meant living a life of luxury and life was lonely for the free-spirited woman, and the only escape was marriage.

Nica met and married Baron Jules, and the couple had five children. She traveled with her husband overseas during the war. Nica loved listening to music, and it was during her travels in 1950’s she heard a sound (jazz music by a Monk) that “literally” called her- she was happy.

Pannonica left her family and husband to find the Monk, for his music had cast a spell on her. She befriended the month and his musicians, spending most of her evenings in clubs, drinking whiskey, smoking cigarettes and listening to their music. While the society did not accept her behavior in those days, it mattered little to her- for she had her greatest love besides her whom she stood by his side until his death.

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