Barbara Ewing

With a Booker Prize shortlist dominated by historical fiction, there can be no doubt about the appeal of Barbara Ewing’s seventh novel, The Fraud, which she is set to discuss at the Lichfield Literature festival.

A tale of ambition and deception, it follows the fortunes of rich and successful portrait painter, Filipo di Vecellio of Florence and his beautiful wife Angelica, who entertain the cream of the 18th-century art world at their home in Pall Mall.

With Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough among the guests – and William Hogarth as a disapproving observer – their social gatherings are managed by Filipo’s silent sister, Francesca. But Filipo and Francesca’s pasts are a swarm of secrets, and as the city of trade expands, Francesca proves that Filipo is not the only painter, nor the only one capable of fraud.

Barbara Ewing is a New Zealand-born actress and author who lives in London. She has a degree in English and Maori and won the Bancroft Gold Medal at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She has written six novels besides The Fraud: Strangers, The Actresses, A Dangerous Vine, The Trespass, Rosetta and The Mesmerist.

Barbara Ewing appears at Wade Street Church, Lichfield, on Saturday (October 10) from 5pm to 6pm. Tickets cost £5 and can be booked in person at 7 The Close, Lichfield, by phone on 01543 306270, or by emailing

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Annette Rubery

A media and communications professional with ten years’ experience on Metro newspaper and a passion for web development and social media.