The Engraver's Secret

ebook The new, gripping and captivating debut art history novel for fans of Jessie Burton, Tracy Chevalier and Maggie O'Farrell

By Lisa Medved

cover image of The Engraver's Secret

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Two women, a mysterious map, and a family secret spanning hundreds of years ... A stunning art history thriller set around the life, times, and feuds of the artist Peter Paul Rubens.

'An inspired blend of history and suspense ... This wonderful debut novel will inhabit your dreams' Dominic Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos and Return to Valetto

'Art and history collide in this sumptuous novel of dark secrets, family, violence and treachery' Karen Brooks, bestselling author of The Good Wife of Bath, The Brewer's Tale and The Escapades of Tribulation Johnson

Innocence and delight, guile and misapprehension, the hint of indifference, even disdain on her pretty features. Fickle, he called her, a mixture of surprise and confidence. She is all that and more, brought to life with the ink strokes of a genius.

Spanish Netherlands, 1620s: raised by her father Lucas to know her mind, Antonia Vorsterman sees everything that goes on in her world - all the rivalries and jealousies that course through the artists' studios and workshops of Antwerp.

Drawn into the lively household of the artist Peter Paul Rubens, whose work her father engraves for a living, Antonia begins to see a life of colour and possibility for herself - until Lucas entrusts her with a terrible secret that will alter the course of their family's future.

Belgium, present day: haunted by the recent loss of her mother, art historian Charlotte Hubert moves to Antwerp to research her hero, the Baroque master Rubens, and to seek answers about the father she's never met.

But a startling discovery hidden inside an ancient map folio turns Charlotte's quiet academic life into a dangerous hunt for long-lost treasures, missing for 400 years. In the shadowy cloisters of the university, where ambition, obsession and violence run deep, nothing is as it seems.

Charlotte is certain of one thing - no one can be trusted.

Centuries apart, Charlotte's and Antonia's lives intertwine as they unearth long-buried secrets about a master and his engraver where theft, betrayal and the fallout of family loyalty run rampant.

What do you do when the weight of betrayal grows too heavy to bear?


'The Engraver's Secret is an inspired blend of history and suspense, braiding two stories of fathers and daughters and family secrets across time. Lisa Medved conjures Rubens' house and his world so vividly that Antwerp and this wonderful debut novel will inhabit your dreams.' Dominic Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos and Return to Valetto

'Cleverly constructed, informative, engaging' The Australian

'Perfect for fans of dark academia, The Engraver's Secret is a richly woven tale of intrigue, with two very determined women at its heart. A captivating debut that brings the art and history of the Baroque era to life on the page' Evie Woods, author of the #1 Wall Street Journal and Amazon Kindle bestseller The Lost Bookshop

'Art and history collide in this sumptuous novel of dark secrets, family, violence and treachery. Two extraordinary women, set apart by time, are beholden to a past and the men who shaped it. For the talented Antonia, it's the conflict between the magnificent artist, Peter Paul Rubens, and her...

The Engraver's Secret