This novel brings together the silk business of fifteenth-century London and the personality of King Richard III, suspected throughout history of having murdered his two nephews, the Princes in the Tower. The story begins with silk merchant John Lambert’s decision to marry off his two beautiful daughters at the end of the Wars of the Roses. Elder daughter Jane starts a notorious liaison with King Edward IV – Richard’s older brother – while her sister, Isabel, as the new silkworker to the court, becomes privy to its most intimate secrets. Could the sisters hold the keys to power at this time of uncertainty?



Click to read more about

  • The silk business
  • Silkwomen
  • Jane Shore
  • Was Edward IV illegitimate?
  • London in the Wars of the Roses
  • Why the ancient game of chess went modern (Clue: women)


‘Vanora Bennett weaves a richly textured historical novel.’ The Times, May 2008

‘This is one of those wonderfully memorable historical novels that has everything … heroes, villains, power, passion, politics and intrigue. Another spellbinding tale from an author who brings history to life.’ Lancashire Evening Post, June 2008

‘Exciting and true-seeming.’
Times Literary Supplement, May 2008

‘Superior historical romance in the Philippa Gregory vein,’
Scotland on Sunday, May 2008

‘Vanora Bennett has come up with a vivid, unmissable novel set in the times of Edward IV.’
Eve magazine, June 2008

‘Bennett’s novel has the verve of a thriller and the heady rush of a fine historical romance.’
Easy Living, June 2008

‘Political intrigue, shifting loyalties and forbidden passions feed this masterly piece of story-telling.’
Woman & Home, June 2008

‘Bennett has created a gripping story and, in Isabel, a complex and interesting female lead whose stubborn pursuit of self-determination is cleverly juxtaposed with her sister’s conventional feminine wiles. If you like historical fiction (with a dark romantic twist) you’ll find Figures in Silk an enjoyable read.’ Ham & High, June 2008

‘Figures in Silk deftly weaves history and romance.’ Courier Mail, Australia, June 2008

‘Isabel’s adventures in the silk trade – the attempt to subvert Venice’s control of the silk trade by importing weavers to work secretly in London, the poaching of jealously guarded trade secrets – this is fascinating stuff.’ Lucille Redmond’s Heatseeker Reviews, Ireland, June 2008

‘All the ingredients for a perfect historical novel are here. Bennett breathes new life into this often overlooked period in English history, and on turning the last page I was very sad to leave this evocative world behind.’ Topping & Co Booksellers, Bath and Ely, June 2008



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