In her new book The Marriage Portrait, Maggie O’Farrell turns her talents to Renaissance Italy in an extraordinary portrait of a resilient young woman’s battle for her very survival.
In a video interview, the author explains the inspiration and genesis behind the book.
‘The novel asks the question, “What do you do if you suspect your husband is planning to murder you?”‘ she says.
‘The novel is about Lucrezia, who is a sixteen-year-old bride of the Duke of Ferrara. She has spent her whole life in the gilded, secluded world of her father’s court. But at the beginning of the novel, she finds herself at a remote country villa, realising that her husband has brought her here to kill her …’
O’Farrell previous novel Hamnet was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other books include After You’d Gone, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The Hand That First Held Mine (winner of the Costa Novel Award) and Instructions for a Heatwave. She has also written a memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death.
Watch the interview: