Skip to main content

A Factory of Cunning

Philippa Stockley


List Price: 21.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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—who takes a new identity, determined to reinvent herself. 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.

Praise For A Factory of Cunning


"Deliciously wicked."--The Washington Post Book World

"A Factory of Cunning is a well-made entertainment for people who don't go soft at the prospect of corsets and powdered wigs. The 18th-century milieu Stockley describes is so ruthless and exploitative that any shred of sentiment attached to the better-dressed past will be burnt to ashes on contact. Stockley's fidelity to the period and its language is nearly faultless."

Mariner Books, 9780156030670, 368pp.

Publication Date: September 5, 2006

About the Author

Philippa Stockley is a deputy editor at the Evening Standard and also works as an artist and illustrator. She lives in London.