The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal has been optioned for TV by acclaimed production company Buccaneer Media, in a deal handled directly by the agency. The news broke yesterday on Variety and The Bookseller.

Tony Wood and Anna Burns will Executive Produce for Buccaneer Media, while Kyle Loftus has been appointed at APA to represent the production in the US.

Headquarted in London and founded by leading television professional Tony Wood in 2013, Buccaneer Media produces high quality and commercial drama internationally. Their first scripted TV series Marcella (2016) aired to global acclaim.

The Doll Factory tells the story of Iris, an aspiring artist who works in a doll-making shop, and Silas, a reclusive collector captivated by the strange and beautiful. They meet by chance in Hyde Park during the construction of The Great Exhibition. For Iris, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later. But for Silas the meeting marks a new beginning. He decides his life will be incomplete without her.

When Iris is asked to model for Pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will teach her to paint, and suddenly her world expands to become a place of art and love. But Silas has only thought of one thing since meeting Iris, and his obsession is darkening…

Tony Wood, CEO of Buccaneer Media said:“It’s an honour to announce a collaboration with Elizabeth Macneal; she’s an amazing talent, who I am delighted to bring into the Buccaneer fold”.

Sophie Jonathan, Senior Commissioning Editor at Picador added: “To read The Doll Factory is to step across a threshold into another time – into the press and panic, the elation and vivid beauty of 1850s London. I’ve never read a novel so rich in colour and texture, so to know that Elizabeth’s extraordinary story and sparkling characters will be translated to screen is impossibly exciting, and who better to work that magic than Buccaneer Media”.


Elizabeth Macneal (above) mentioned: “As soon as I met Tony and his team, I knew that Buccaneer was the perfect company to adapt The Doll Factory. I was thrilled by their passion for the characters, their enthusiasm for London’s history, and I know that Iris, Silas and Albie couldn’t find a better home.”

The Doll Factory recently won the Caledonia Novel Award. After a fiercely contested 14-way publisher auction, the UK rights to the novel were sold for a six-figure sum to Picador (Pan Macmillan), who will publish it as their lead debut fiction launch of 2019.

US and Canadian rights were purchased by Emily Bestler Books (Simon & Schuster), in a significant two book deal, and they will publish simultaneously with Picador next year.