Gregory Norminton (one of our writers)
March 2006

About the publication

This intimate and compelling novel deftly interweaves three periods in the life of 17th-century painter Nathaniel Deller: in 1650, just after Charles I's execution, the young Deller joins a political group too radical even for the Roundheads; ten years later, on the night of Charles II's return from exile, Deller is accused by his former friend Thomas Digby of betraying their ideals; and in 1680, the increasingly blind painter commissions his former pupil William Stroud to finish the portrait of his late wife, knowing this could reignite the romance between Stroud and the daughter he tyrannises.

Offering a vivid picture of England during a period of great turmoil, Ghost Portrait explores the conflict between public duty and private desire, idealism and ambition.


An intimate drama that wears its learning lightly, written with great clarity and the minimum of narrative fuss… Suffused with desire and regret, this beautiful, understated novel is a moving meditiation on change and compromise.


Norminton's prose is as lyrical as ever, at its best in his wonderfully bucolic realisation of the Diggers' doomed utopian community… Anything by Gregory Norminton is a pleasure to read - the pages skip by in his light, cadenced style

Time Out