Elizabeth Macneal’s intoxicating debut, The Doll Factory, is published today in paperback by Picador.

This powerful and evocative novel was a No. 1 bestseller in the Times and No. 2 bestseller in The Sunday Times in hardback, a Radio 2 Book Club pick, a Radio 4 Book at Bedtime and praised by the Sunday Times as ‘a remarkable example of historical fiction’ The paperback has been chosen as Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for March 2020.

Elizabeth Macneal was selected for the Observer’s “hottest-tipped debut novelists of 2019″, following in the footsteps of our very own Gail Honeyman.

The UK hardback edition of The Doll Factory was published in May 2019 by Picador / Macmillan, with The Times pronouncing it as “one of this year’s best debuts”. It was published in the US in August 2019 (Simon & Schuster) to great critical acclaim, and Film and TV rights have been snapped up by Buccaneer Media. To date, the book has been translated into a whopping 30 languages.

We cannot wait for you to step into this mesmerising tale…


Early press reviews have been remarkable:

 “I’ve missed subway stops to finish a book, but this is the first time I almost missed a plane.” Ron Charles, Washington Post

“When a book refuses to shy away from squalor and brutality while venerating the passionate and beautiful, it is always a memorable experience” New York Times, Book Review (Editor’s Choice)

“Macneal charts her heroine’s quest to escape her confinements, metaphorical and actual, by the men who admire her in a story full of life, colour and intelligence” The Times

“Macneal marries art, obsession and possession in a plot that gains momentum and leaves the reader breathless.” Daily Mail


Author reviews have been equally incredible:

 “A sharp, scary, gorgeously evocative tale of love, art and obsession.” Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

“An astonishingly good debut … I couldn’t put it down. You won’t be able to either.” Elizabeth Day, author of The Party

“Fantastic. Vivid, poignant, colourful and elegantly horrifying” Bridget Collins, author of The Binding

“I loved its warmth, it’s wry humour, and the way each small thread leads into an unbearably tense and chilling denouement that had me totally gripped” Sophie Mackintosh, Man Booker Prize longlisted author of The Water Cure

Elizabeth Macneal was born in Scotland and now lives in East London. She is a writer and potter and works from a small studio at the bottom of her garden. She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship. The Doll Factory, Elizabeth’s debut novel, won the Caledonia Novel Award 2018.