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What can a young duchess do when she realises her husband intends to kill her? In this haunting novel O’Farrell reimagines the life and world of Lucrezia de' Medici, Duchess of Ferrara, drawing from the scarce information about her that is available to us today. The narrative cleverly combines two timelines: one that details Lucrezia’s life from its very beginning until her current situation, and another one that kicks off with her understanding her husband’s plans. While creating a tense atmosphere in a world that feels like a fairy tale, the book also offers an insight into the life of the palazzo and the mind and anxieties of young Lucrezia. 


The Marriage Portrait; Maggie O'Farrell

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