Marina Fiorato - The Venetian Contract - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781848545670
    • Publication date:16 Aug 2012

The Venetian Contract

By Marina Fiorato

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Like her bestselling THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO, this fifth unforgettable historical love story from Marina Fiorato is set in Venice. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir.

Like her bestselling THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO, Marina Fiorato's fifth unforgettable historical love story is set in Venice. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir.

1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plague - and the Turkish Sultan has his revenge.

But the ship also holds a secret stowaway - Feyra, a young and beautiful harem doctor fleeing a future as the Sultan's concubine. Only her wits and medical knowledge keep her alive as the plague ravages Venice. In despair the Doge commissions the architect Andrea Palladio to build the greatest church of his career - an offering to God so magnificent that Venice will be saved. But Palladio's own life is in danger too, and it will require all skills of medico Annibale Cason, the city's finest plague doctor, to keep him alive.

But what Annibale had not counted on was meeting Feyra, who is now under Palladio's protection, a woman who can not only match his medical skills but can also teach him how to care.

Biographical Notes

Marina Fiorato is half-Venetian. She was born in Manchester and raised in the Yorkshire Dales. She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeare's plays as an historical source. After university she studied art and since worked as an illustrator, actress and film reviewer. Marina was married on the Grand Canal and lives in north London with her husband, son and daughter. She is the author of five novels: The Glassblower of Murano, The Madonna of the Almonds, The Botticelli Secret, Daughter of Siena and The Venetian Contract. You can follow Marina on Twitter at @MarinaFiorato and find out more about her and her writing at www.marinafiorato.com.

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  • ISBN: 9781848545663
  • Publication date: 21 Jun 2012
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Hodder & Stoughton
'[Fiorato's] knowledge of the city and its history shines through on every page' — Choice Magazine
'I absolutely loved this story' — debrasbookcafe.blogspot.co.uk
'If you like historical fiction and/or medical dramas, you should really give this a try. Fiorato writes with a deft hand and creates a whirlwind world that is excitingly beautiful and uncertain' — http://bcfreviews.wordpress.com

Praise for Marina Fiorato:

'Fiorato creates her own masterpiece'

— Booklist
'Captures the scents, passion and vigour of Italy' — Books Quarterly
'A great read' — Best
'A great holiday read with solid historical substance' — Historical Novels Review
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First published in hardback as Kit.An unforgettable historical romance based on an astonishing true story from international bestseller Marina Fiorato - perfect for fans of Poldark and The Scandalous Lady W. Dublin 1702. Irish beauty Kit Kavanagh has everything she could want in life. Newly married, she runs a successful alehouse with her beloved husband Richard. The wars that rage in Europe over the Spanish throne seem a world away.But everything changes on the night that Richard simply disappears. Finding the Queen's shilling at the bottom of Richard's tankard, Kit realizes that her husband has been taken for a soldier.Kit follows Richard's trail across the battlefields of Italy in the Duke of Marlborough's regiment. Living as a man, risking her life in battle, she forms a close bond with her wry and handsome commanding officer Captain Ross. When she is forced to flee the regiment following a duel, she evades capture by dressing once more as a woman. But the war is not over for Kit. Her beauty catches the eye of the scheming Duke of Ormonde, who recruits her to spy upon the French. In her finery she meets Captain Ross once again, who seems just as drawn to the woman as he was to the soldier.Torn between Captain Ross and her loyalty to her husband, and under the orders of the English Crown, Kit finds that her life is in more danger now than on the battlefield.

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Hidden in the language of Shakespeare's best-loved comedy Much Ado About Nothing, are several clues to an intriguing tale. It seems that the witty lovers Beatrice and Benedick had a previous youthful love affair which ended bitterly. But how did they meet, why did they part, and what brought them together again?Messina, Sicily, 1588. Beatrice of Mantua comes to the court of her uncle Leonato, to be companion to his daughter, Hero. That fateful summer, Spanish lordling Don Pedro visits for a month-long sojourn on the island with his regiment. In his company is the young soldier Benedick of Padua.Benedick and Beatrice begin to wage their merry war of wit, which masks the reality that they dance a more serious measure, and the two are soon deeply in love. But the pair are cruelly parted by natural disaster and man-made misunderstanding. Oceans apart, divided by war and slander, Beatrice and Benedick begin their ten-year odyssey back to Messina and each other.In a journey that takes us from sunlit Sicily to the crippled Armada fleet and from ancient superstition to the glorious Renaissance cities of the north, Marina Fiorato tells a story of intrigue, treachery and betrayal that will shed a new light on Shakespeare's most appealing lovers.'Captures the scents, passion and vigour of Italy' Booklist

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Adam Williams

Adam Williams, whose family has lived in China since the late nineteenth century, was born and raised in Hong Kong. For the last eighteen years he has been representative in Beijing of a Far East trading conglomerate. In 1999 he received an OBE for services to Sino-British trade. Adam lives in China and Italy and has three children. To find out more, visit Adam's website www.adam-williams.net or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/_AdamWilliams.

Allan Massie

Allan Massie is the award-winning author of many novels, including his Roman Quartet - Antony, Augustus, Tiberius and Caesar - as well as several works of non-fiction. He lives in the Scottish Borders and writes for the Daily Telegraph and the Scotsman.

Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford, has taught at a number of institutions and written for many magazines. The first novel in the Ibis trilogy, Sea of Poppies, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008. In 2015, Amitav Ghosh was named as a finalist of the Man Booker International Prize.

Andreï Makine

Andreï Makine was born in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia in 1957, but sought asylum in France in 1987. While initially sleeping rough in Paris he was writing his first novel, A HERO'S DAUGHTER, which was eventually published in 1990 after Makine pretended it had been translated from the Russian, since no publisher believed he could have written it in French. With his third novel, ONCE UPON A RIVER LOVE, he was finally published as a 'French' writer, and with his fourth, LE TESTAMENT FRANCAIS, he became the first author to win both of France's top literary prizes, the Prix Goncourt and Prix Médicis. Since then Andreï Makine has written THE CRIME OF OLGA ARBYELINA, REQUIEM FOR THE EAST, A LIFE'S MUSIC, which won the Grand Prix RTL-Lire, THE EARTH AND SKY OF JACQUES DORME, THE WOMAN WHO WAITED, HUMAN LOVE and THE LIFE OF AN UNKNOWN MAN.

Audrey Howard

Audrey Howard was born in Liverpool in 1929. Before she began to write she had a variety of jobs, among them hairdresser, model, shop assistant, cleaner and civil servant. In 1981, while living in Australia, she wrote the first of her bestselling novels. Here fourth novel, The Juniper Bush, won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 1988.She lives in St Anne's on Sea, her childhood home.

Ellis Peters

Ellis Peters was the pseudonym of Edith Pargeter. She wrote twenty chronicles in the Cadfael series, which she produced annually until her death in 1995.

Eloisa James

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor. Currently she is the Director of Creative Writing in the English Department at Fordham University in New York City. She lives and writes in New Jersey with her husband, a Dante scholar and Italian knight, and their two children.

Hilary Green

Hilary Green is a trained actress and spent many years teaching drama. Among her star pupils was the latest James Bond, Daniel Craig. She also ran a Youth Theatre Company, one of the members of which was the now acclaimed theatre director, Christopher Luscombe. She has always written, producing novels, scripts for the BBC, and short stories, one of which one the Kythira Prize awarded by the Historical Novel Society. She even wrote the book and lyrics for a school musical, which she also produced. She loves all forms of theatre, including opera and ballet. This is probably 'bred in the bone' as both her parents were in what theatre people always refer to as 'The Profession'. Her father was a singer, trained for opera in Italy, while her mother was a ballet dancer. Their pre-war experiences in variety were the inspiration for the 'Follies' series of novels. Hilary regularly gives talks about her work to book groups and other organisations where she enjoys meeting her readers and hearing their reactions to the stories. When not writing she gardens, rides horses, walks in the countryside and plays bridge as well as enjoying travel and has been round the world several times. Hilary is married, with two grown-up sons and two grandchildren.

Jack Hight

Jack Hight has a doctorate in history from the University of Chicago. He lives with his wife, daughter and dog in Washington, DC. Hight is the author of three acclaimed novels - SIEGE, and the first and second in the Saladin Trilogy: EAGLE and KINGDOM. You can find out more about Jack Hight and his writing and read his blogs at www.jackhight.com.

Jenny Tomlin

Jenny Tomlin was born and brought up in east London. She has two children and lives happily in France. Jenny is a bestselling author and children's rights campaigner.

John Follain

John Follain was born in 1966. He studied at Oxford before joining Reuters, for which he worked as a correspondent in Rome and Paris. He has covered Italy for The Sunday Times since 1998. His previous books include DEATH IN PERUGIA, THE LAST GODFATHERS, which was translated into 10 languages, MUSSOLINI'S ISLAND and the international bestseller ZOYA'S STORY. He was voted runner-up for the 2006 Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism, and nominated for the 2008 Magazine Journalism Awards for his interview with the Knox family.

Meg Hutchinson

Meg Hutchinson lived for sixty years in Wednesbury, where her parents and grandparents spent all their lives. Her passion for storytelling reaped dividends, with her novels regularly appearing in bestseller lists. She was the undisputed queen of the clogs and shawls saga. Passionate about history, her meticulous research provided an authentic context to the action-packed narratives set in the Black Country. She died in February 2010.

Nigel Tranter

One of Scotland's best-loved authors, Nigel Tranter wrote over ninety novels on Scottish history. He died at the age of ninety on 9 January 2000.