iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Episode 2

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Episode 2

Book at Bedtime, Secrecy Episode 2 of 10

Duration:
15 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 27 August 2013

"Some see you as a master craftsman. Others say you're a sorcerer. You're mysterious, obsessive. Controversial."

Zummo - a 17th-century sculptor - makes things out of wax, figures so lifelike they look as if they might move and breathe. He has journeyed throughout Italy over the years in an attempt to flee his past. Now, in 1691, he has been summoned to the Medici court by the Grand Duke of Tuscany. He arrives in Florence, a city in which "everything was forbidden [and] anything was possible." But what does the Grand Duke have in mind for him?

Ten years later, Zummo visits a convent in France and tells the whole story to Marguerite-Louise of Orléans, long-estranged wife of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Secrecy is a tale of love, art, murder and concealment, enacted within a beautifully-realised 17th century Florentine and Tuscan setting.

Some of the 'plague pieces' by Gaetano Zummo (1656-1701) can be found in La Specola, Florence.

Rupert Thomson is the author of eight highly-acclaimed novels including Death of a Murderer, which was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Novel Award. His memoir This Party's Got to Stop won the Writer's Guild Non-Fiction Award.

Episode Two
Florence 1691. After settling in to his new surroundings Zummo is summoned to meet Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Reader: Owen Teale
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Producer: Rosalynd Ward
A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Credits

Reader
Owen Teale
Producer
Rosalynd Ward
Abridger
Jeremy Osborne
Author
Rupert Thomson

Broadcasts

Books & Authors Clip Collection

JKrowling

Interviews, previews and reviews

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.