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London, 1887. In a momentous year dogged by economic crisis, riots and a voracious press hungry for scandal - how can one MP's wife bury the truth about her past?
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Published: 07 June 2012
Genre: General & literary fiction
It is 1887, and an unsettled London is preparing for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. For Maribel Campbell Lowe, the beautiful, bohemian wife of a maverick politician, it is the year she plans to make her own mark on the world. But her husband's outspoken views inspire enmity as well as admiration - and the wife of a member of parliament should not be hiding the kind of secrets Maribel has buried in her past. When a notorious newspaper editor begins to take an uncommon interest in her, Maribel fears he will destroy not only her husband's career but both of their reputations. Beautiful Lies is set in a Jubilee year that, fraught with economic uncertainty, riots and tabloid scandal-mongering, uncannily presages our own. Praised by Hilary Mantel as 'one of those writers who can see into the past and help us feel its texture', Clark has created a brilliant, riveting novel that illuminates both Victorian England and our own times.
A shining example of historical literary fiction… nothing less than literary pyrotechnics. Beautiful Lies is a dazzlingly elegant novel steeped in the rich detail of the period
Lucy Scholes, Independent
Sentences that are so lush, so beautifully finished, that one almost wants to stroke her prose
Judith Flanders, Guardian
A wonderfully observed novel which explores both the role of women and the tabloid press in Victoria's jubilee year. Completely gripping
The charm of Beautiful Lies is that Ms Clark breaks the usual Victorian moral code, exploring both the colourful world outside the drawing room and the depths of her characters’ minds. A stirring and seductive novel
A hugely entertaining and generous piece of story-telling
James Walton, Daily Mail
This is a delicious brick of a book, at the high end of historical fiction; immaculately informed, with characters you can’t forget
Kate Saunders, Saga
Clark works on a large canvas to tell her story and Beautiful Lies is rich in character, event and period detail, but it is the compelling evocation of its heroine’s predicament that stays in the memory
Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
[A] beautifully crafted piece of Victoriana… a satisfying blend of period melodrama and psychological sharpness
Adrian Turpin, Financial Times
Beautiful Lies is a dazzlingly elegant novel steeped in the rich detail of the period
Lucy Scholes, Independent
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Clare Clark reads from her new novel, Beautiful Lies, set in a 19th century London dogged by economic crises and riots, with a press hungry for scandal.
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Clare Clark is the author of three highly acclaimed historical novels: The Great Stink, Savage Lands (both longlisted for the Orange Prize) and The Nature of Monsters. Born in 1967, she graduated from ...