Number of pages: 248
Date of publication: 2015
About Entertaining Mona Lisa
In this fascinating, erudite and superbly readable collection of short stories, Philippe de Felice recreates nine sometimes private, sometimes public, moments in which the course of history – or what we think we know of it – balances on a knife edge. All are based on true events.
During the Nuremberg Trials Hans Frank, the infamously sadistic Nazi Gauleiter of Poland, makes an extraordinary last request before his execution – to be received into the Catholic Church…
During the darkest period of Stalin’s purges, the head of the NKVD, Lavrenti Beria, plays a high-stakes game of poker using the ID cards of victims as “money”…
In the reign of the Russian Empress Catherine the Great, entirely fake villages are built by her minister Potemkin to convince the monarch that all is well with her subjects…
Philippe de Felice is of Swiss origins and was born in Zurich in 1954. He received a cosmopolitan education in Swiss, French and English schools, and then studied at Florence University and Oriel College Oxford (where he graduated with First Class Honours in History and French in 1976). He later qualified as a Barrister and followed a career in international law, working on aid projects for the United Nations, on EU affairs for the Commission and the UK government, and most recently in private practice.
He has travelled widely in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
He now lives in London with his wife and three children. Entertaining Mona Lisa is his first collection of stories. He is currently working on a novel and a series of studies on how humans have chosen to express themselves throughout the ages, from prehistoric caves to the internet era.
From readers’ comments on Amazon:
“A collection of masterfully written, greatly enjoyable short stories, whose universe is populated by unforgettable characters, who live, struggle, love and perish against the backdrop of events which have significantly contributed to shape (and reshape) the course of history.”
“Nine beautifully crafted short stories spanning two thousand years of European history…”
“I read Entertaining Mona Lisa for my book club, and found the nine short stories moving back in time fascinating.”