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The Maiden

"Double standards, debauchery and dazzling story-telling — set in 17th-century Edinburgh, this electrifying debut was sparked by a real murder case and gives voice to silenced women."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Magnificent! Brilliantly evoking seventeenth-century Edinburgh in atmosphere and socio-moral landscape, Kate Foster’s The Maiden is a thrilling story of murder, salacious judgements, and injustice.

Made all the more powerful by the fact that it’s sparked by a real-life murder case (the Maiden of the title was a gruesome guillotine reserved for those deemed to be the worst criminals), The Maiden also gives voice to silenced women through a gritty story that reels with incredible wit.

A mere year after getting married, reputable Lady Christian is charged with murdering her lover, James Forrester. The headlines sparked by the case don’t hold back (“Adulteress. Whore. Murderess”), with the High Constable hamming up the grisly murder scene in the broadsides: “Oh, I’ll never forget the way the blood was spreading across the ground. Thick and oozing, it was. As though he’d been attacked by an animal”.

At her trial, no one believes a word Lady Christian utters, and yet the narrative reveals other women’s experiences of Forrester, with tenacious Violet’s voice particularly powerful — the murdered man took her from a brothel at a young age.

Visual, compulsive, and taking in privileges of gender, class and status, if you love immersive historic fiction, if you fell for TV show Harlots, you’re guaranteed to become utterly invested in The Maiden

Joanne Owen

Star Books

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