In just over a month, Elizabeth Macneal’s The Doll Factory will be published by Macmillan / Picador.

And it was announced today that The Doll Factory will be featured in the BBC Radio 2 Book Club with Jo Whiley – as one of six that will be featured over the next three months:

This isn’t the only publicity The Doll Factory has received in the run up to publication.

It was picked as one of the Observer’s Hottest Tipped Debuts of 2019“, Elizabeth was featured in a full page spread in The Bookseller and it has received brilliant reviews from world-renowned authors.

The Doll Factory is a gripping debut novel set in the Pre-Raphaelite circle of Victorian London.

London, 1850. As the Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park, two people meet among the crowd watching the spectacle. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a curiosity collector enchanted by the strange and beautiful, the meeting marks a new beginning. When Iris is asked to model for 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 art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since that meeting, and his obsession is darkening.

The Doll Factory is a tale of curiosity, love and possession.  It brings to life the squalor, ambition and sweeping vision of 1851 London, a radical year of art and ambition that would change Britain and the lives within it forever.  Central to the book is the theme of female empowerment. As a young woman, Iris’s dreams are constrained by society, but she is compelled forward by a dogged resilience and a tenacious desire to become the person she knows she is.

Those that have read the book so far have given glowing praise:

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

“Macneal writes with utter mastery, creating a lushly intricate world peopled by living, breathing characters you can’t help but fall in love with and a plot that rattles like a speeding carriage to its thrilling conclusion. I couldn’t put it down. You won’t be able to either.” Elizabeth Day, author of The Party

“The Doll Factory is brilliant, with a refreshingly original quality, beautifully orchestrated narrative, great characters and some fascinating background detail.” Andrew Taylor, author of the #1 Sunday Times bestseller, The American Boy

“Stunningly confident first novel with real sense of period and place, plus storytelling chops.”  Ian Rankin, bestselling author

I loved The Doll Factory from the very first page and couldn’t do anything else until I’d read right to the end. An exquisite novel of obsession, delusion, resilience and love, Elizabeth Macneal really is a breathtaking new talent.AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs Bird

Born in Scotland, Elizabeth Macneal is a potter based in Limehouse, East London, working 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 novel will be published on 2nd May.