The Blue

In eighteenth-century England, the price of beauty is death, and porcelain is the most seductive of commodities.

Fortunes are made and lost upon it, and kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces—and the secrets of their manufacture.

Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, wants to be an artist—and while nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London, she fancies that things may be very different if only she can reach Venice.

A journey via Derby and Venice takes her to the the presence of the French king, her mortal enemy. On the way she must manoeuvre through the worlds of art, love, betrayal and politics.

In particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue…

Will she be able to stay calm and decide exactly how much she is willing to suffer, in pursuit and protection of The Blue?

About the author

Native to the midwest, Nancy Bilyeau is a regular contributor to Town & Country. THE CROWN, her first novel and an Oprah pick, was published in 2012. 

She is a direct descendant of Pierre Billiou, a French Huguenot who immigrated to what was then New Amsterdam (later New York City) in 1661. Pierre's stone house still stands and is the third oldest house in New York State. 

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Why We Like It

'With rich writing, surprising twists, and a riveting sense of 'you are there,' The Blue is spine-tingling entertainment.' – Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins

‘...transports the reader into the heart of the 18th century porcelain trade—where the price of beauty was death.’ - E.M. Powell, author of the Stanton & Barling medieval mystery series. 

 'Historical fans will be well satisfied' - Publishers Weekly 

‘Nancy Bilyeau's passion for history infuses her books’ – Alison Weir

Nancy Bilyeau

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, DuJour, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. She is currently a regular contributor to Town & Country . Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel and an Oprah pick, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013. The third in the trilogy, THE TAPESTRY, was published by Touchstone in 2015. The books have also been published by Orion in the UK and seven other countries.

Some earlier milestones: In 1661, Nancy's ancestor, Pierre Billiou, emigrated from France to what was then New Amsterdam when he and his family sailed on the St. Jean de Baptiste to escape persecution for their Protestant beliefs. Pierre built the first stone house on Staten Island and is considered the borough's founder. His little white house is on the national register of historic homes and is still standing to this day.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

How it works

The book will be delivered in 10 instalments (or staves), one every day. The instalments are delivered to your Pigeonhole bookshelf on your IOS or Android app, plus you can read on our web reader. You will receive an email letting you know when each stave is available.

We believe that shared reading leads to new ideas and connections. That’s why we have a dynamic commenting system which allows in-text discussion between our readers. Post a comment and all your fellow readers will be able to respond. You can also choose to receive notifications (customise them here) when someone responds to your comment, or, additionally, whenever a comment is left in the book.

As you read you will see round purple icons at the edge of certain paragraphs – tap on these to reveal behind-the-scenes extra content!

Links will be included at the end of the final stave which will allow you to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. The full book will be available on your Pigeonhole bookshelf for one month for you to read at your leisure. 

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