A Sunday Times Bestseller, BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick and BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal is the intoxicating story of one woman's dreams of freedom in Victorian England and the man whose obsession threatens to destroy them forever . . .
'A sharp, scary, gorgeously evocative tale of love, art and obsession' - Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
London. 1850. On a crowded street, the dollmaker Iris Whittle meets the artist Louis Frost. Louis is a painter who yearns to have his work displayed in the Royal Academy, and he is desperate for Iris to be his model. Iris agrees, on the condition that he teaches her to paint.
Dreaming of freedom, Iris throws herself into a new life of art and love, unaware that she has caught the eye of a second man. Silas Reed is a curiosity collector, enchanted by the strange and beautiful. After seeing Iris at the site of the Great Exhibition he finds he cannot forget her.
As Iris's world expands, Silas's obsession grows. And it is only a matter of time before they meet again . . .
'A dark delight and fans of The Miniaturist and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock will love it' - Red
The Doll Factory will be made into a major TV series.
A remarkable example of historical fiction . . . full of life, colour and intelligence, Sunday Times
Stunningly confident . . . thoroughly engrossing -- Ian Rankin
A must read . . . Elizabeth Macneal's compelling debut is a darkly brilliant tale of Gothic suspense, Daily Mail
Fantastic - vivid, poignant, colourful, and elegantly horrifying -- Bridget Collins, author of The Binding
Macneal is excellent on the tension between idealised women and the reality . . . The Doll Factory is a remarkably strong debut; clever and readable with flashes of wonderful, descriptive prose -- Book of the Month, The Times
Astounding . . . I recommend it wholeheartedly -- Jo Whiley, BBC Radio 2 Book Club
This is a dark delight and fans of The Miniaturist and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock will love it, Red Magazine
A deliciously gothic concoction that abounds with energy and imagination, conjuring up 1850s London life in all its Dickensian glory. Macneal marries art, obsession and possession in a plot that gains momentum and leaves the reader breathless, Daily Mail
I loved The Doll Factory from the very first page . . . an exquisite novel of obsession, delusion, resilience and love . . . breathtaking -- AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs Bird
Astonishingly good . . . with and a plot that rattles like a speeding carriage to its thrilling conclusion. I couldn’t put it down. You won’t be able to either -- Elizabeth Day, author of The Party