Burgonet, perhaps by Filippo Negroli
Italy, 16th century
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
... SEEN BY PATRICK LENNON
When I lived in Cambridge as a kid, I remember being fascinated by this piece of armour. From the front, it looks like a boat trawling a mass of iron beneath it. From the side, it looks like a distant, shattered planet with its own craters and rings. The face is ambiguous intimidating at first, but look again and it might be humour that's making his eyes wrinkle up, or even pity at something awful taking place in front of him. A truly memorable character from the Fitzwilliam Museum, full of different possibilities, depending on how the light falls and from which angle you look.
As a reader and a writer, I'm always on the lookout for characters like this: people with immediate physical presence who seem to have suffered or seen something that's left a mark on them. And I like characters to reveal their nature in stages as this face seems to, inviting you to guess at each encounter what their core personality might really be.
Patrick Lennon (b. 1964)
Born in Kent in 1964, Patrick Lennon spent the first few years of his life in Thailand and then grew up in Cambridge, where he attended Park Street and Parkside schools. Having read English at the University of York, he pursued an international sales career with multinational consumer goods companies, living in Britain, Italy, France and Mexico. In 2001, Lennon started to write. He finished his first novel in 2003 and had Corn Dolls published in 2006. The start of a Cambridge-based crime series featuring the protagonist Tom Fletcher, Corn Dolls has been translated into German and Italian and was followed by Steel Witches in 2008.
Patrick Lennon lives with his family in Berkshire and visits Cambridge regularly.
P. Lennon, Corn Dolls, Hodder & Stoughton, 2006
P. Lennon, Steel Witches, Hodder & Stoughton, 2008