ITEM: Signed copies of my two latest novels Theodora & The Purple Shroud (two novels of the Empress Theodora), posted to anywhere in the world.
Justinian took a wife: and the manner she was born and bred, and wedded to this man, tore up the Roman Empire by the very roots’ Procopius Charming, charismatic, heroic – Theodora of Constantinople rose from nothing to become the most powerful woman in the history of Byzantine Rome. In Stella Duffy’s breathtaking new novel, she comes to life again – a fascinating, controversial and seductive woman. Some called her a saint. Others were not so kind… When her father is killed, the young Theodora is forced into near slavery to survive. But just as she learns to control her body as a dancer, and for the men who can afford her, so she is determined to shape a very different fate for herself. From the vibrant streets and erotic stage shows of sixth century Constantinople to the holy desert retreats of Alexandria, Theodora is an extraordinary imaginative achievement from one of our finest writers.
THE PURPLE SHROUD
Once, Theodora was little more than a slave, the daughter of a bear-keeper, running barefoot through the streets of Constantinople. Now she is Theou doron, ‘the Gift of God’, Empress of Byzantine Rome and the most powerful woman in the world.
In Stella Duffy’s compelling new novel, the beguiling and extraordinary Empress Theodora emerges from the shadow of history into brilliant light. Clever, courageous and ruthless when betrayed, Theodora rules alongside her husband, the Emperor Justinian – a true love match in a world of political marriages.
While wars rage on the borders of the Empire, Theodora discovers that the greatest danger to her reign – and her life – lies much closer to home. From the catastrophic and terrifying riots that burn through the city; to vengeful enemies at the palace who will never accept ‘Theodora-from-the-brothel’; to plagues and plots and murder, Theodora learns what it truly means to be Empress.
Spanning over twenty dramatic years of Theodora’s reign, The Purple Shroud is a vivid portrait of a charismatic, exceptional woman and a fascinating exploration of both the pleasures and the burdens of power.
BIO: Stella Duffy has written thirteen novels, fifty short stories, and ten plays. The Room of Lost Things and State of Happiness were both longlisted for the Orange Prize, and she has twice won Stonewall Writer of the Year. She won the 2002 CWA Short Story Dagger for Martha Grace (Tart Noir) and again in 2013 for Come Away With Me (Best British Mysteries 2013). She is adapting her novel State of Happiness for feature film with Zentropa/Fiesta. HBO have optioned both of her Theodora novels for a TV mini-series. Stella is also a theatre director and performer, heading Fun Palaces 2014 to commemorate Joan Littlewood’s centenary in October 2014.