Firstborn: A Novel of Leonardo da Vinci

I've always been a fan of Leonardo. Leonardo the historical figure is a fascinating character. The real Leonardo lived, in many ways, an atypical life for his time; yet, he was very much a man of his time--a man one could say was ahead of his time. Taking on Leonardo as a book protagonist seemed an overwhelming task, but a worthy one. This pop culture icon resonates through time and captivates people by what we know about him and by what we don't know alike. My hope is that this story shows a fondness for the fictional character of Leonardo that readers appreciate and enjoy.

front cover

In 15th century Tuscany, Leonardo da Vinci is a boy snared by the past and caught between two families. His first taste of a father's authority comes when he is seized from his mother and taken to Vinci by a stranger, a man named Ser Piero, his father. Leonardo tries to run away only to realize he must accept the conditions set forth by the man who has the power to decide his fate.

An unexpected day arrives when Leonardo must choose between his parents: He can return to live with his beloved mother in her poverty-stricken home, or turn to the allures of Florence--and his emotionally distant father.

Consumed by the need to prove he is a son worth of Ser Piero's acceptance, Leonardo goes to Florence and strives to please his father. Yet, Ser Piero will not see Leonardo as his firstborn son anymore than he will release him from his grasp; the man believes one bastard son is better than none, that is, until a son of legitimate birth can take Leonardo's place.

Leonardo grows weary from years of rejection. He turns to his work and his best friend, Matteo, for companionship and escape. But when Leonardo might finally be able to break free from Ser Piero, he pines for the affections of another impossible love and faces the ultimate test of his loyalty. He could lose Ser Piero forever, or he could deny his first love, for both have the power to save and ruin him as desperation threatens to reveal his secrets.

The image that sparked the book:

This image came to my awarness one day when I was sick in bed. I woke from my fevered nap to hear music playing on the t.v. and saw this merged face drawing of Leonardo and the Mona Lisa.

In my fevered delirium, I had a thought pass through my mind that forced me out of bed to write the idea down on paper.

daVinciMonaLisa [reinterpretation of comparison made by dr. Lillian Schwartz; Selfportrait 1510 & Mona Lisa 1507, both by Leonardo Da Vinci] Link

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