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Costanza

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780349131092

Price: £20

ON SALE: 1st August 2024

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

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‘From the first page I was hooked. Love, lust, fury and betrayal leap from the page. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to read a true feminist retelling’ LOUISE HARE

‘I loved it… Rich and evocative in its portrayal of 17th Century Rome. A fabulous, evocative novel’ ELIZABETH CHADWICK

Rome, 1636. History calls her a Muse. Temptress. Fallen woman. This is her story.

In the scorched city of Rome, the cobbled streets hum with gossip and sin. Costanza Piccolomini is a respectable young wife – until she meets Gianlorenzo Bernini, the famed sculptor and star of Roman society, whose jet-black gaze matches his dark temper. From the second they set eyes upon each other, a fatal attraction is born.

Their secret love burns with a passion that consumes them. But with every stolen kiss and illicit tryst, Costanza’s reputation is at stake. Meanwhile, Bernini has a dangerous desire: he wants to make Costanza immortal. He vows to possess her not just in body and soul, but also in marble.

When Bernini unveils his sculpture of Costanza, she is exposed as his lover, marking the undoing of their affair – and the beginning of a scandal which will rock Roman society. For Bernini would rather destroy Costanza than let her go.

Betrayed. Abandoned. Banished. This was meant to be the end of Costanza’s story. But Costanza is no ordinary woman: from the ashes, she will rise…

Based on a true story, Costanza is a dizzying and sensual historical novel that brings to life a feminist icon who has been written out of history. This utterly addictive tale of desire and betrayal is perfect for fans of The Marriage Portrait and The Miniaturist.

‘I was mesmerised by Costanza, a searing, fierce tale of obsession, revenge, and resilience. An unforgettable debut novel’ Naomi Kelsey, author of The Burnings

‘I sat up into the early hours, unable to drag myself away from Costanza – what a joy! Rachel Blackmore rescues Costanza, wronged and defiant, from the shadows of history’ Karen Powell, author of Fifteen Wild Decembers

‘Like all the best writers of historical fiction, Blackmore uses her examination of the past to shed light on the present day, in this searing indictment of the treatment and objectification of women. Meticulously researched, atmospheric and beautifully observed, this is a heartbreaking but ultimately triumphant story of one woman’s determination to follow her own path’ Bridget Walsh, author of The Innocents

‘A shocking story. Deeply felt… Quite apart from anything else, I will look at Bernini in a new light’ Elizabeth Buchan, author of The Museum of Broken Promises

‘A stunning read – very powerful. The writing is so beautiful and the historical detail mesmerising’ Nicola Cornick, author of The Forgotten Sister

Reviews

From the first page I was hooked, completely immersed in Costanza's version of Rome. Love, lust, fury and betrayal leap from the page. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to read a true feminist retelling
Louise Hare
I loved it . . . Rich and evocative in its portrayal of 17th Century Rome. A fabulous, evocative novel
Elizabeth Chadwick
I was mesmerised by Costanza, a searing, fierce tale of obsession, revenge, and resilience. Blackmore's lush, sensuous prose evokes 17th Century Rome superbly, from its seamy underbelly to the glamourous Bernini circle. An unforgettable debut novel
Naomi Kelsey
I sat up into the early hours, unable to drag myself away from Costanza - what a joy! Rachel Blackmore rescues Costanza, wronged and defiant, from the shadows of history
Karen Powell
A shocking story... Most persuasively written, deeply felt and the detail is excellent. Quite apart from anything else, I will look at Bernini in a new light
Elizabeth Bucan
Like all the best writers of historical fiction, Blackmore uses her examination of the past to shed light on the present day, in this searing indictment of the treatment and objectification of women. Meticulously researched, atmospheric and beautifully observed, this is a heartbreaking but ultimately triumphant story of one woman's determination to follow her own path
Bridget Walsh
A stunning read, very powerful. The writing is so beautiful and the historical detail mesmerising and immersive
Nicola Cornick