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A Net for Small Fishes


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Wolf Hall meets The Favourite in the most gripping novel you'll read this year: an exhilarating dive into the pitch-dark waters of the Jacobean court

About the Author

Lucy Jago is an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction and Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, and a former documentary producer for Channel 4 and the BBC. Her first book, The Northern Lights, won the National Biography prize and has been translated into eight languages. She was awarded a Double First Class Honours Degree from King's College, University of Cambridge, and a master's degree from the Courtauld Institute, London. She lives in Somerset.


Sumptuous ... If you're feeling bereft after finishing The Mirror and the Light, let Jago transport you back to the Jacobean court -- Lucy Scholes * Daily Telegraph *
A superb exploration of female agency, sexuality and class ... Anne thrums with life all the way through to her tragic, gruesome end, while Frankie is calculating and alluring ... A scintillating novel that plunges you head-first into a darkly compelling chapter of British history * Observer *
A powerful take on a fascinating piece of history * The Times *
Rich in intrigue and incident, with a cast of vividly drawn characters and a wealth of detail on every atmospheric page, this is a fabulously engaging read * Daily Mail *
Bravura historical debut ... Gloriously immersive ... Jago makes her a brilliantly engaging narrator ... Jago is excellent on clothes ... Throughout the novel, surface detail is deftly handled to convey deeper anxieties and shifts in attitude ... Jago keenly conveys the peril of being a woman of any class in the 17th century ... Like all the best historical fiction, A Net for Small Fishes is a gloriously immersive escape from present times, but it's not escapism * Guardian *
Riveting ... In a narrative that brims over with colour and invention, Jago summons up Jacobean London with enormous persuasiveness * Sunday Times, Book of the Month *
Perfect for those looking for a gripping historical title * i paper *
Jago's thrilling debut is a sumptuous feast of plotting and intrigue at the court of King James, with a feminist slant ... A classic historical novel, classily executed * Mail on Sunday *
A sensuous evocation of 17th-century noble shenanigans. Jago offers a timely lens through which to reconsider power dynamics in Jacobean England ... Seamless and stylish ... Set in 1609, 69 years after the Mantel trilogy concludes, so those mourning Cromwell may find much to scintillate here * Irish Times *
Will bring wit, wisdom, joy and comfort to your reading pile ... There's no messing about in Lucy Jago's A Net For Small Fishes. From the first chapter you're plunged into the dark intrigues, violence, vying for position and cruelty of the 17th century Jacobean court as society beauty Frances Howard meets Anne Turner, whose way with bodices, stockings and eyelashes is unequalled * Stylist *
What a tale! Rich in intrigue and incident ... A Net For Small Fishes is wonderfully dramatic and movingly tragic. With a wealth of detail on every atmospheric page, as the charismatic, flawed figures of Anne and Frankie try to live and love in the "cesspit" of a royal court, this is historical fiction at its immersive, intriguing best * Sunday Express *
Hike up your Jacobean skirts for a romp through the corridors of courtly power ... A perfect winter's tale * Sainsbury's Magazine *
A historical gem * *
A magnificent reimagining of a scandal in the Jacobean court ... Masques, machinations and murder ensue, as well as affairs, gorgeously described clothes and a dangerous friendship * Tatler, 8 best books of the year so far *
Dazzling * Sunday Independent *
A terrific first novel, rich in colour, character, place and time. If you like your history spiced with sex, scandal and the sweet sensibilities of female friendship, then this is for you -- Sarah Dunant
A fabulous book. Frankie and Anne's world is not just brilliantly evoked but brilliantly sustained. Lucy Jago doesn't make a single false step. And it's exciting! -- Andrew Miller
The Thelma and Louise of the seventeenth century: two mis-matched heroines, two grittily textured lives, an outrageous plot (true!), sex, politics, and a gut-wrenching ending -- Lawrence Norfolk
Full of colour, intrigue and historical characters we can relate to ... Jago has a great flair for the sensuous image and evokes the heady mix of gaudy glamour and grime that characterises the era with a distinctive, dense poetry. Historical fiction at its scintillating best and most filmic -- Susan Elderkin
Brings the early seventeenth century brilliantly to life ... Riven with colour and detail * Living Magazine *
The attention to detail is wonderful. A really, really great book so early in 2021 * Woman's Way *
Unflinching ... She lays bare the corruption of the Jacobean court, her sharp prose illuminating its dark corners and the complexities of her subject matter * *
We've had so much Tudor fiction of the years from authors including Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory, that it's great to escape to a different era as Lucy Jago takes us to the court of James I * Scotsman *
An extraordinary story ... The court case of the century ... Amazing * talkRADIO *

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