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Black Lily
Black Lily

Black Lily


240 Pages, 5 x 7

Formats: EPUB

EPUB, $8.99 (US $8.99) (CA $11.99)

Publication Date: September 2018

ISBN 9781910258385

Rights: US & CA

Pimpernel Press (Sep 2018)


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Set in a London devastated by the Great Plague and the Great Fire, Black Lily begins in the 1660s and moves rapidly through three generations

In late seventeenth century London two women, one white, one black, stake everything to prevent a manipulative mogul destroying them. Zenobia, born in poverty, grasps that her only hope of controlling her own life is to capitalise on her looks; Lily, brought to London on a sugar and slave ship as a "toy," educated alongside her mistress but used by her master, lives as a kept woman. As their story weaves and folds through a murky and merciless London, both find themselves pitted against a ruthless man the world knows as John Crace. London's rich but festering possibilities as a rapidly-changing multinational city are breathtakingly painted, and pungent milieux ranging from plague pits to prisons to pastry kitchens—and Pickled Herring Stairs—are vividly brought to life.


"Like Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist and Sarah Waters's Fingersmith, Black Lily offers us a proto-feminist reworking of history. These women have agency. . . . It's fascinating to find out more about the black citizens of 17th-century London. Black Lily would clearly make a terrific TV series. . . . Stockley's deftly plotted novel has a sting in the tale too. You have to go back to the first chapter to see how beautifully she's set the whole thing up." —Evening Standard

""Cunning" is an apt word for the plot of Stockley's (The Edge of Pleasure) intriguing historical novel, set in 18th-century England; "devilishly clever" would be even more appropriate. . . .Entertaining and suspenseful." —Publishers Weekly on Black Lily

"Readers will eagerly turn the pages of this epistolary novel, chortling at the dalliances and gasping at the machinations. . . . Give to book groups and Regency romance readers looking for depth." —Booklist on A Factory of Cunning

"A well-made entertainment for people who don't go soft at the prospect of corsets and powdered wigs. . . .  Stockley's fidelity to the period and its language is nearly faultless." — on A Factory of Cunning

"Deliciously wicked." —Washington Post Book World on A Factory of Cunning

"truly intriguing." --Historical Novels Review

Author Biography

Philippa Stockley is the author of A Factory of Cunning and The Edge of Pleasure.