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Elizabeth Loupas lives near the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, half way between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. She hates housework, cold weather and wearing shoes. She loves gardening, animals and popcorn. Not surprisingly she lives in a state of happy, barefoot chaos with her delightful and slightly bemused husband.
This is a dazzling tale of love, sumptuous splendour and conspiracy in the Italian Renaissance court of Ferrara, from the brilliant author of The Flower Reader. Barbara of Austria is plain, quick-witted and sensible. She also desperately needs a husband, for unmarried at twenty-six, she is about to be packed off to a convent, like her sisters before her. So it is that she seizes what seems to be her last chance - a proposal of marriage from Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, Lucrezia Borgia's grandson, clever, handsome, powerful - and widely believed to have murdered his first wife, Lucrezia de Medici. Barbara goes into her marriage clear-eyed, fascinated by her dangerous, enigmatic new husband - and increasingly - recklessly - driven to discover the truth about the death of his first duchess.