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The Marriage Portrait

On sale

30th August 2022

Price: £21.99

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Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781472223876
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‘Someone swore that, as a little girl, he once saw you touch a tiger. And that the tiger didn’t harm you, it let you stroke it. It was always said that you had charmed the beast.’
The breathtaking new novel from the author of Hamnet, the Sunday Times No.1 bestseller (2021) and winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, The Marriage Portrait is a dazzling evocation of the Italian Renaissance in all its beauty and brutality.
Winter, 1561. Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara, is taken on an unexpected visit to a country villa by her husband, Alfonso. As they sit down to dinner it occurs to Lucrezia that Alfonso has a sinister purpose in bringing her here. He intends to kill her.
Lucrezia is sixteen years old, and has led a sheltered life locked away inside Florence’s grandest palazzo. Here, in this remote villa, she is entirely at the mercy of her increasingly erratic husband.
What is Lucrezia to do with this sudden knowledge? What chance does she have against Alfonso, ruler of a province, and a trained soldier? How can she ensure her survival.
The Marriage Portrait is an unforgettable reimagining of the life of a young woman whose proximity to power places her in mortal danger.

(P) 2023 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

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Reviews

Guardian
O'Farrell is simply outstanding
Marian Keyes
Her writing is exquisite. Immersive and compelling
Observer
An extraordinary writer with a profound understanding of the most elemental human bonds
Guardian Book of the Day
Finely written and vividly imagined, it is far from being simplistic, but there is an engaging simplicity to it . . . a very good one to be read, as publishers used to say, by "children of all ages"
Spectator
In O'Farrell's hands, historical detail comes alive . . . evocative, moving and sensitively rendered
i newspaper
Every bit as evocative and spellbinding as Hamnet. O'Farrell, thank God, just seems to be getting better and better . . . O'Farrell's writing is so vivid it melts away the time and space between now and 16th-century Italy . . . With The Marriage Portrait, then, O'Farrell hasn't just produced another magnificently transporting page-turner. She has given us an exhilarating, devastating look at women's captivity, creativity and ultimately, rebellion in a world run by some very cruel men
Washington Post
One of the most exciting novelists alive
Scotsman
Ingenious, inventive, humane, wry, truthful . . . better than her last novel
Financial Times
Her narrative enchantment will wrest suspense and surprise out of a death foretold