The Doll Factory
'A sharp, scary, gorgeously evocative tale of love, art and obsession.' - Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train.
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal is the intoxicating story of a young woman who aspires to be an artist, and the man whose obsession may destroy her world for ever.
London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among t...more
This is London 1850, and ...more
The 1850 London, where pre-Raphaelites shook the artistic world, where a young woman is tired of painting dolls and wants to express herself in real art, London where a little boy collects money by bringing carcases of dead animals to a most peculiar taxidermist in order to buy false teeth for himself and who also looks after his sister, and London that is preparing for the Great Exhibition, is the place that I found fascinating while reading, and at the same time ...more
This Victorian era....
fusion drama gets creepier and creepier....with a climactic ending!!!
A reader who chooses this novel is getting the deli deluxe combo sandwich with added secret ingredients whether you want them or not.....
....historical fiction...(a tribute to art, artists and London during the Victorian era, 1850-1851...and an education/understanding of pre-Raphael)...
....creations made in a doll shop...
....a Great exhibition in Hyde Park...
London, 1850. As the great metropolis is preparing for an illustrious event, three characters discove ...more
All words which can be used to describe The Doll Factory, a Gothic Victorian tale set in London in 1850. When Iris, an aspiring artist meets Louis, pre-Raphaelite artist she agrees to model for him in exchange for painting lessons. She spends her days painting doll faces and years for more. Silas has also met Iris and he has plans of his own - dark plans which lead to obsession.
This is a dark tale that often h ...more
The Doll Factory is set in 1850s London. The Great Exhibition is going up on Hyde Park. It’s an art exhibition and among the crowd watching the event are Iris and Silas, who meet by chance. Iris is an aspiring artist and Silas is collector of curiosities and a taxidermist (creepy!). Iris does not think much of the meeting, but to Silas, it’s a point of importance.
Iris is asked to model for Louis Frost, and she agrees if he will ...more
I was lured into reading this book because of its locale and time period (Victorian London), the Dickensian / gothic atmosphere, and the promise of all things weird. This book delivered on all fronts.
The main character is Iris, who with her twin sister Rose works in a porcelain doll shop in London. The apprenticeship was set up by their parents. The establishment is sandwiched in between other storefronts, one of which is a bakery, resulting in sugary scents wafting into their shop. Iri ...more
Iris and her twin sister Rose work in a shop that makes dolls. They paint their faces an make their clothes - sending nearly all their wages back to their parents.
Iris secretly longs for more, she fondly remembers the times her and Rose would plan their own shop where they could sell their own wares and be independent.
When the opportunity arises for Iris to be a model for an up and coming artist she can’t refuse. And in exchange Louis will give her painting lessons and money s ...more
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
I am editing this because I want to be clear. This is a good book but NOT FOR ME. Different books are for different people.
Were it not for the Taxidermist and killing of an animal, graphic scenes of stuffing animals ETC I would have most likely given this a higher rating. And I did read most of it although I cannot even say how much I skimmed or ignored entirely because of this issue. If these ...more
I couldn’t resist that gorgeous cover and title of this book though and thought I would absolutely love it. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t.
I received an ARC through Net ...more
The Doll Factory is a riveting, gritty tale set in London in the mid-1800s at a time when the city was bustling, scavenging was prevalent, respectability meant everything, The Great Exhibition was a structural marvel, and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was redefining visual art.
There are three main memorable characters in this novel; Iris Whittle, a young red-headed girl who dreams of becoming an artist and unconsciously catches the eye of many; Silas Reed, a strange ...more
I love reading historical fiction, partly because of the things I learn and this one taught me lots about the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood which was fascinating. I also learned more than I ever wanted to know about taxidermy at least when it is performed by a madman. When it became too gross I am afraid I resorted to skimming.
The character of Silas was very skilfully drawn. (view spoiler)[ ...more
Set in Victorian London in 1850, Elizabeth MacNeal's debut novel, the Doll Factory, depicts a story of Iris, who despite her parents disapproval decides to follow her dream of becoming an artist. She meets Luis who is a painter from Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and he is completely smitten by her. Luis wants to paint Iris and also agrees to give her painting lessons. However, Luis is not the only one who has their eyes on Iris. Iris and Silas are briefly introduced at an exhibition. While ...more
This book of historical fiction that is super creepy! This story takes place in 1850's in London. Twin sisters, Iris and Rose, work for Mrs. Salter at the Doll Emporium. The girls paint doll faces and clothe them as well. Iris aspires to be a real artist. Rose doesn't ever want to go anywhere or do anything because of the scars she has on her face from having smallpox.
Iris, who is beautiful, so ...more
What more could one want from a Victorian thriller?
But Macneal delivers even more. “The Doll Factory,” which is already a hit in England, offers an eerily lifelike re-creation of 1850s London laced with a smart feminist critique of Western aesthetics. I ...more
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I'm a sucker for stories about murderous obsession, especially if it's channeled through art. John Fowles's THE COLLECTOR was about a butterfly collector who decided to broaden his repertoire to include a woman, and Patrick Süskind's PERFUME is about a perfume creator who wants to perfect the scent of a young girl. THE DOLL FACTORY, with its compellingly creepy summary, seemed like it would be yet another tale in that vein.
Iris works in ...more
Iris meets Silas who becomes obsessed with her and the story becomes very dark and sometimes scary.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
The story picked up by about 75% and I felt actively engaged. There was a strong plot twist that added excitement. Overall I would recommend to readers who don’t mind the slower pace.
*Thanks to NetGalley and publish ...more
Set in 1850s Victorian London, the period detail is perfect invoking the sight, scents and sounds of this great city; it's clear Ms Macneal has researched the era extensively to bring a rounded authentic ...more
I actually really loved the last 20% of this book. It was horrifying, well told, a complete page-turner. My problem with this was that the first 80% I found to be pretty boring. I only stuck through to the end because I heard it picked up later on. While I'm glad I read it (the last part was worth it) I can't say I'd read it again if given the chance.
I loved the setting, the whole Victorian Era and the Great Exhibition was amazing and the setting was horrifyingly beaut ...more
The Doll Factory, Elizabeth's ...more