About Maggie O’Farrell
Maggie O’Farrell, FRSOL, is the author of Hamnet, Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, and the memoir I Am, I Am, I Am, both Sunday Times no. 1 bestsellers. Her novels include After You’d Gone, My Lover’s Lover, The Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox, The Hand That First Held Mine, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, Instructions For A Heatwave and This Must Be The Place. The Marriage Portrait is her new novel. She is also the author of two books for children, Where Snow Angels Go and The Boy Who Lost His Spark. She lives in Edinburgh.
About The Marriage Portrait
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.
‘O’Farrell is simply outstanding’ Guardian
‘Her writing is exquisite. Immersive and compelling’ Marian Keyes
‘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.’
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.
About Imogen Hermes Gowar
Imogen Hermes Gowar studied Archaeology, Anthropology and Art History before going on to work in museums. She began to write fiction inspired by the artefacts she worked with, and in 2013 won the Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Scholarship to study for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock was a finalist in the MsLexia First Novel Competition, shortlisted for the inaugural Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers’ Award and the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018, and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018 and HWA Debut Crown 2018.