Set in London, 1850-1851, at the time of The Great Exhibition, The Doll Factory follows the story of a young woman called Iris who we first meet painting tiny porcelain dolls - but who burns to become an artist.

She is taken up by some young painters, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, but only agrees to model for one of them if he will give her painting lessons. As this relationship evolves, a parallel and one-sided one develops - an obsessive and solitary taxidermist, Silas, grows increasingly convinced that Iris is destined to be his. He begins to follow her through the streets of the city and make his plans to lure her to his cellar workshop.

With echoes of John Fowles' The Collector, this is a gorgeously vivid story about a young woman determined to forge her own path as an artist in the male dominated world of Victorian London.

In Episode 5, Iris becomes Queenie and leaves her old life behind.

Written by Elisabeth MacNeal
Read by Louise Brealey
Abridged by Isobel Creed and Lizzie Davies
Produced by Lizzie Davies

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4

Iris begins her new life as an artist's muse.

Set in Victorian London, Elisabeth MacNeal's novel tells the story of a young doll painter