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This is the 2005 hardback edition, first print of GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING by Tracy Chevalier. It was first published in 1999 by HARPER COLLINS, as is this edition. What makes this such a lovely edition is that it contains plates of many of Vermeer's famous paintings, and as the young protagonist Griet is amazed and in awe of these paintings it helps the reader immensely to be able to see quality pictures of some of these paintings.

Here is a synopis -

With precisely 35 canvases to his credit, the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer represents one of the great enigmas of 17th-century art. The meager facts of his biography have been gleaned from a handful of legal documents. Yet Vermeer's extraordinary paintings of domestic life, with their subtle play of light and texture, have come to define the Dutch golden age. His portrait of the anonymous Girl with a Pearl Earring has exerted a particular fascination for centuries - and it is this magnetic painting that lies at the heart of Tracy Chevalier's second novel of the same title. Girl with a Pearl Earring centers on Vermeer's prosperous Delft household during the 1660s. When Griet, the novel's quietly perceptive heroine, is hired as a servant, turmoil follows. First, the 16-year-old narrator becomes increasingly intimate with her master. Then Vermeer employs her as his assistant--and ultimately has Griet sit for him as a model.

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