A Factory of Cunning
By Philippa Stockley
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151011728, 368pp.)
Publication Date: April 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Set in late eighteenth-century England, Philippa Stockley's American debut gives us a wickedly delightful but deadly serious battle of the wills and the sexes. It begins with the arrival in London of the mysterious Mrs. Fox. On the run from a scandalous French past, she takes on a new identity, determined to rehabilitate herself. To do so she must pit her formidable skills for revenge against Earl Much, a British aristocrat with no less notorious a past and easily her match in sinfulness and intrigue. Between these two swirls a story featuring venal lords, wronged maidens, and reprobate clergymen, transporting readers from bawdy houses to country estates-places where the pleasures of the flesh are both high comedy and serious business.
A Factory of Cunning takes readers to the world immortalized in Dangerous Liaisons. And, like Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White, the vividly rendered setting and characters give the thrill of a fresh discovery.
Philippa Stockley is a deputy editor at the Evening Standard and also works as an artist and illustrator. She lives in London.
UK PRAISE FOR THE EDGE OF PLEASURE
"A glittering novel . . . Darkly beautiful."-THE SUNDAY TIMES
"Confident, assured and highly entertaining . . .A vividly sensual novel."-EVENING STANDARD
"There is much to enjoy in Stockley's sly, tart mix of sex, painting and mischance, confected with a naughty, sophisticated glitter." -DAIL Y MAIL