A major novel with a plot full complex twists and turns, all told in an extraordinarily accurate 18th Century voice, by an extremely talented writer.
One freezing April morning, two veiled women step off the boat from Holland. They are on the run: a scheming French aristocrat, who goes by her nom de plume of Mrs Fox, and her loyal maidservant. With only a handful of gold and fearing for her life, Mrs Fox sets about establishing herslf with high society.
Immoral and beautiful, Mrs Fox has always used men to support and amuse her. Trusting on her wits to keep ahead of the hangman, she manipulates others to survive: gullible Lord Danceacre, sweet Violet Denyss and degenerate predator Earl Much.
Yet in the earl, Mrs Fox has met an adversary whose sadistic viciousness is a match for her own attempts to destroy him. Through a dark, quick world of liars and lechers, where infidelity and intellect cross swords with desire and death, Mrs Fox hurtles towards a horrible climax.
Here is London, 1784 ...welcome to a factory of cunning.
A very entertaining romp. - GUARDIAN WEEKLY
She writes with vivid, fervent imagination, provoking shivers in the reader. - EVENING STANDARD
Spitefully funny, sordid and chilling, A FACTORY OF CUNNING deserves to become a cult classic. - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
Stockley, a painter and historian of costume, has a fantastic eye for detail and a very witty way with words... which make her FACTORY OF CUNNING an irresistable gegaw. - GUARDIAN