We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

‘I thought of the books we carried and the hands that would one day hold them. The pages read, turned and discussed. And how the book would become thought and the thought then become the person gone out into the world. Let Gilbert try and put a stop to that.’

After her father is disgraced, Delphine Vimond is cast out of her home in Rouen and flees to Paris. Into her life tumbles Chancery Smith, apprentice printer sent from London to discover the mysterious author of potentially incendiary papers marked only D. In a battle of wits with the French censor, Henri Gilbert, Delphine and Chancery set off in a frantic search for D‘s author. But who is D and does D even exist?

Privilege is a story of adventure and mishap set against the turmoil of mid-18th century France at odds with the absolute power of the King who is determined to suppress opposition on pain of death. At a time when books required royal privilege before they could be published – a system enforced by the Chief Censor and a network of spies – many were censored or banned, and their authors harshly punished. Books that fell foul of the system were published outside France and smuggled back in at great risk.

Costa-shortlisted author Guinevere Glasfurd has conjured a vibrant world of entitlement and danger, where the right to live and think freely could come at the highest cost.


Reviews

Praise for THE WORDS IN MY HAND *shortlisted for the 2016 Costa First Novel Award*
Excellent . . . Glasfurd has created an entirely unsentimental love story, with a memorable and engaging heroine. She takes the narrowness of Helena's life and her kicks against its confines, and spins them into an original tale
The Times (Book of the Month)
A striking debut . . . Her portrait of love across barriers of class, and of Helena's yearning for education, is a touching one
The Sunday Times
An accomplished first novel . . . She brilliantly dissects the complex frustrations of a woman in love with a man consumed by intellectual obsessions. There is much to move us here
Guardian
Gloriously readable . . . It feels as though Guinevere Glasfurd has seen into the heart and soul of Helena, as though this really could be her story . . . A truly lovely and captivating debut
LoveReading
Praise for THE YEAR WITHOUT SUMMER *Shortlisted for the HWA Gold Crown Award 2020* *Longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize 2021*
Rich in voice, beautifully told, and with a chilling sting in its tail
Historical Writers’ Association
Superb . . . a stay-up-all-night page-turner . . . a beautifully written, angry, unflinching and unforgettable novel
Financial Times
Glasfurd is a strikingly sharp and subtle writer . . . She has the rare ability to conjure characters vividly in a few deft strokes and the gift, rarer still, of making us care deeply about them
Guardian
Another superb saga, rich in both historical detail and human interest
Observer