The Marriage Portrait: Exclusive Edition (Hardback)
  • The Marriage Portrait: Exclusive Edition (Hardback)
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The Marriage Portrait: Exclusive Edition (Hardback)

(author)
£25.00
Hardback 368 Pages / Published: 30/08/2022
Available in 97 days

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Waterstones Says

O'Farrell paints as evocative a picture of Renaissance Italy as she did Shakespearean England in the former Waterstones Book of the Year Hamnet, as Cosimo de' Medici's third daughter learns to navigate an opaque Florentine court and an enigmatic new husband.

Exclusive Edition - includes an exclusive essay from the author, revealing the real life and personality of Lucrezia de' Medici

A Standard Edition is available here

'I thought I had made myself clear,' Alfonso murmurs, barely opening his lips. 'I want something that conveys her… how to put this… her majesty, her bloodline. Do you understand? She is no ordinary mortal: treat her thus. Ensure, please, that the portrait reflects that, above anything else. I want everyone who looks upon this to know instantly what she is: regal, refined, untouchable.'

Florence, the 1560s.  Lucrezia, third daughter of Cosimo de’ Medici, is comfortable with her obscure place in the palazzo: free to wonder at its treasures, observe its clandestine workings, and to devote herself to her own artistic pursuits.  But when her older sister dies on the eve of marriage to Alfonso d’Este, ruler of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight: the duke is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father to accept on her behalf.

Having barely left girlhood behind, Lucrezia must now make her way in a troubled court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed. Perhaps most mystifying of all is her husband himself, Alfonso.  Is he the playful sophisticate her appears before their wedding, the aesthete happiest in the company of artists and musicians, or the ruthless politician before whom even his formidable sisters seem to tremble?

As Lucrezia sits in uncomfortable finery for the painting which is to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes worryingly clear.  In the court’s eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferrarese dynasty.  Until then, for all of her rank and nobility, the new duchess’s future hangs entirely in the balance.

With the drama and verve with which she illuminated the Shakespearean canvas of Hamnet, winner of the Waterstones Book of the Year and the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2020, Maggie O’Farrell brings the world of Renaissance Italy to jewel-bright life, and offers an unforgettable portrait of a resilient young woman’s battle for her very survival.

Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
ISBN: 9781472297624
Number of pages: 368

Maggie O’Farrell in conversation at Waterstones Piccadilly

Maggie O’Farrell in conversation at Waterstones Piccadilly

London - Piccadilly
Tuesday 30th August 18:30

Journey to Florence in the 1560s with Maggie O’Farrell discusses bringing the world of Renaissance Italy to life in her new book The Marriage Portrait

View
Closing 29/08/2022

Win a trip for two to Florence.

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