Eason Novel of the Year

Shortlist 2022

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell

The Marriage Portrait

By Maggie O'Farrell

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 Maggie O'Farrell...

Maggie O’Farrell 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 GoneMy Lover’s LoverThe Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, The Vanishing Act of Esme LennoxThe Hand that First Held Mine, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, Instructions for a Heatwave,  This Must Be the Place and The Marriage Portrait. 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.

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