Zoffany’s daughter

by Stephen Foster Blue Ormer Press

‘I am only obeying the law that Nature has engraved indelibly in the heart of a mother, to never be separated from her child’.

2nd July 1825: Cecilia Zoffany, daughter of a famous artist, flees to the island of Guernsey with her two young daughters, one of them disguised as a boy.  Alone and distressed, the beautiful stranger seeks the help of locals in a desperate attempt to retain the custody of her children.  Her estranged husband, a London clergyman, follows close behind.

Time is running out for Cecilia and everyone is watching.  A mother’s love stands defiantly against the absolute right of the father.  The Royal Court of Guernsey is called to adjudicate.  The Press, local gossips and her apparent new friends all have their say.  Whom can Cecilia trust? And, given the evidence, why should we trust her? Meanwhile, Cecilia confides in her diary...

This is a true story.  But how much of it should we believe?

The result of extensive research into a bitter child custody battle in Guernsey in 1825, this book mixes classical scholarly historical narration ... invented diary entries and details, and thoughtful reflections on the nature of history, truth and fiction ... I was engrossed from beginning to end.’

Ann Curthoys, co-author of ‘Is History Fiction?  

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