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Martyn Downer grew up surrounded by the art and antiques in his father's provincial auction house, where he spent his school holidays working as a porter. He started his career in the art business working for an antique jeweller in London's West End before joining Sotheby's as a specialist in 1993. Over the following ten years, Martyn sourced jewellery from around the world for Sotheby's auctions in New York, London and Geneva. artyn was Head of Jewellery at Sotheby's in London from 1999 to 2003. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife, who is a painter, and their three young children.
"'Downer's account of the Nelson-Emma-Fanny triangle is a gripping read, and he succeeds triumphantly in rescuing Davison from obscurity'" Spectator "'A truly riveting story of assiduous detection and fine scholarship...a total triumph' " -- Simon Winchester "'An extraordinary detective story'" History Today "'Strewn with vivid images, Downer's narrative is well-researched and well-written'" Sunday Times "'An intriguing story with a rip-roaring account of Trafalgar...Downer has a good story to tell and does so in high style that will satisfy readers of historical novels with enough strange reality to intrigue those preferring non-fiction'" Literary Review