Village Books will be at Bell House presenting The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal.
An intoxicating tale of art, obsession and possession, The Doll Factory is set in London in 1850/51, and tells the story of Iris, an apprentice doll-maker who dreams of being a painter, and of Silas, a curiosity collector enchanted by the strange and beautiful with ambitions of founding a museum dedicated to his macabre obsessions.
The Great Exhibition is being constructed in Hyde Park, and two people meet among the crowd. For Iris, it is the encounter of a moment, forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, the meeting marks a new beginning. When Iris is asked to model from the Pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint, and suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of the new dual freedoms of art and love. But Silas has thought of one thing only since that chance encounter, and his obsession is darkening.
Elizabeth Macneal is a professional potter, working out of a small studio at the bottom of her garden, and her work is sold in the Wallace Collection and Botanique Workshop, among others. In 2017, Elizabeth completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA, with the opening chapters of The Doll Factory forming her dissertation, and where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury Scholarship.