(From the publisher):
A French noblewoman steps onto the gloomy, fog-chilled London docks. It is not a triumphal arrival scene, but one fit to its purpose. "Mrs. Fox" turns out to be both running from a scandalous past and bound on a secret mission to act as an instrument of revenge against Earl Much, a debauched British aristocrat who has devoted his long life to collecting priceless objets d'art and ruining young women. Mrs. Fox is intent on rising in Georgian society, trading upon her considerable powers of wit and seduction, and banking upon the credulity and appetites of men.
Using letters and journal entries, Philippa Stockley's novel takes readers speeding through grand estates and county seats, and deep into London's back-alley stews and bawdy houses, all places where vice leads and virtue lags. Mrs. Fox could be Becky Sharp's aunt; irresistibly shrewd and delightfully self-serving, she pinpoints weakness and pounces. Her letters to a confidant blister the society they expose, one in which all parties are either pursuing or being pursued and innocence goes to the highest bidder. Mrs. Fox and her rival Earl Much know what is at stake here; their version of the war between the sexes leads to a blazing battle to the finish.
Original title: A Factory of Cunning
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ 18th Century