Secrecy

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0120130826

"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 One

In 1701, a frail, dying Zummo arrives at a French convent. He has a story to tell. His audience? Marguerite-Louise of Orléans, former wife of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Readers: Greta Scacchi and Owen Teale

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

0220130827

"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.

0320130828

"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 Three

The Grand Duke holds a 'Sicilian' banquet in honour of Zummo: events there change the sculptor's life forever.

Reader: Owen Teale

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

0420130829

"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 Four

Zummo is weighing up the Grand Duke's secret commission when, after months of searching, he meets the girl from the apothecary.

Reader: Owen Teale

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

0520130830

"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 Five

A late night visit to Dr Pampolini reminds Zummo that Florence can be a dark and dangerous place.

Reader: Owen Teale

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

0620130902

"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 Six

Faustina has revealed her dangerous secret to Zummo. And Stufa is on his trail. But for now, Zummo is absorbed in completing his work for the Grand Duke.

Reader: Owen Teale

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

0720130903

"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 Seven

Zummo has moved to a new apartment in anticipation of his mother's arrival from Sicily. But this doesn't stop Stufa from becoming more and more intrusive.

Reader: Owen Teale

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

0820130904

"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 Eight

After the break-in at his house, and with both Stufa and Bassetti closing in, Zummo acts to keep Faustina safe.

Reader: Owen Teale

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

0920130905

"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 Nine

Zummo rides off to Torremagna in search of Faustina, knowing he must find her before Stufa does.

Reader: Owen Teale

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

10 LAST20130906

"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 Ten

Zummo concludes his tale with a final showdown with Stufa. But his story sends Marguerite-Louise on a journey of her own.

Readers: Owen Teale and Greta Scacchi

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.