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B9 Gothic Worlds with Anna Mazzola and Anne Corbett

The Bath Festival 2024

The Guildhall

Two dark and dazzling tales from two exceptional voices in gothic historical fiction. Anne Corlett’s The Theatre of Glass and Shadows is set in an alternate London, where in the city’s Theatre District a vast immersive theatrical production - the Show - has been running for centuries, growing ever bigger, more sprawling and lavish. Anna Mazzola’s The Book of Secrets is inspired by real events that took place in 17th century Italy. Months after the plague has ravaged Rome, men are still dying in unnatural numbers, and rumour has it that their corpses do not decay as they should… They talk to novelist Zoë Somerville (The Marsh House.)

Anne Corlett was a criminal defence solicitor for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. Her apocalyptic sci-fi novel The Space Between the Stars was published by Tor and Berkley in 2017, but this is her first mainstream novel. It was partly inspired by the immersive productions of the Punchdrunk theatre company, of which Anne is a huge fan, and whose work she has reviewed for the Guardian.

Anna Mazzola is the award-winning and bestselling author of four Gothic historical novels. Her debut novel, The Unseeing, won an Edgar Allan Poe award. Her third novel, The Clockwork Girl, set in 18th-century Paris, has been nominated for two CWA Dagger awards as well as the Dublin Literary award. Her fourth novel, The House of Whispers, a ghost story set in Fascist Italy, reached number 7 in the Saturday Times Chart and was  a Sunday Times historical fiction pick for 2023. Her novels explore the impact of crime and injustice and her influences include Sarah Waters, Daphne du Maurier and Shirley Jackson. Anna also writes legal thrillers under the name Anna Sharpe, the first of which will be published in 2024. When not writing or tutoring, Anna is a human rights and criminal justice solicitor, working with victims of crime. She lives in South London with her husband, their two children, a snake and a cat. Anna loves to hear from readers, so do say hello on social media or via her website.

Zoë Somerville is a writer and English teacher. Her debut novel, The Night of the Flood, was published in September 2020 by Head of Zeus. It is inspired by her home county, Norfolk and the devastating flood of the 1950s. Her second novel, The Marsh House is set in the same austere seascape of the Norfolk coast and is about mothers, daughters and ghosts. It was published in March, 2022, also by Head of Zeus. Zoë has worked as an English teacher all over the world. This has included teaching English in Hagi, Japan, the Loire Atlantique, France and the Basque Country; several years in comprehensive schools in South London, Bath and Bristol; four years for the Hospital Education Rehabilitation Service in Somerset; and an international school in Washington, D.C. After completing a creative writing MA at Bath Spa University in 2016, she now combines writing and tutoring, and is settled in Bath with her family.



B9 Gothic Worlds with Anna Mazzola and Anne Corbett