The gripping feminist retelling of a seventeenth century heroine forging her own destiny


I'll show you what a woman can do . . .



Rome 1611. . .

A jewel-bright place of change, with sumptuous new palaces and lavish wealth on display. A city where women are seen but not heard.

Artemisia Gentileschi dreams of becoming a great artist. Motherless, she grows up among a family of painters - men and boys. She knows she is more talented than her brothers, but she cannot choose her own future. She wants to experience the world, but she belongs to her father and soon will belong to a husband.

As Artemisia patiently goes from lesson to lesson, perfecting her craft, she also paints in private, recreating the women who inspire her, away from her father's eyes.

Until a mysterious tutor enters her life. Tassi is a dashing figure, handsome and worldly, and for a moment he represents everything that a life of freedom might offer. But then the unthinkable happens.

In the eyes of her family, Artemisia should accept her fate. In the eyes of the law, she is the villain.

But Artemisia is a survivor. And this is her story to tell.


'An exhilarating read. Through effervescent prose, Elizabeth Fremantle brings the story of artist Artemisia Gentileschi to life. Gripping, captivating, and consistently enlightening, Disobedient firmly places Gentileschi as one of the greatest female heroines in history' KATY HESSEL

'An unforgettable book - visceral and lush and fierce. The last few pages left me gasping. An absolute triumph' EVE CHASE

'Outstanding. A powerful novel about women who are shamed and silenced, and how they learn to survive. A literary knockout' ANNA MAZZOLA, author of The Clockwork Girl

'A great female artist struggling for her voice and for justice is brought to powerful life. Brilliantly researched, rich in detail, grippingly written, Disobedient is the novel Elizabeth Fremantle was born to write' ELIZABETH BUCHAN

'I could not put this book down. Every woman - and man - should read it. Shocking, gripping, Fremantle has crafted a tale that vividly evokes Baroque Italy by portraying a strong, assertive women. Splendid!' ALISON WEIR

'If you don't already know the story of 17th-century artist Artemisia Gentilleschi, I urge you not to google it but let this phenomenal novel describe her for you. Elizabeth is a writer at the top of her game, and this is historical fiction at its absolute best' GILL PAUL, author of The Secret Wife

'The colourful, brutal world of Baroque Italy is superbly evoked in this gripping novel. The challenges faced by a dauntless woman in this man's world leave a deep impression on the reader' LINDA PORTER

'Artemisia's life was extraordinary, and so is this book. I was swept away by lush, evocative prose. An unforgettable, moving and important story told with great skill and care' JENNIFER SAINT

'An unputdownable story of revenge, ambition, and how women overcome adversity. A heartbreaking and empowering read that places Artemisia as one of the greatest painters in history' COSTANZA CASATI, author of Clytemnestra

'You'll be gripped. The author brings 17th-century Italy to life' WOMAN & HOME


  • Magical, thrilling, wonderful, excellent. Heartpoundingly tense and absolutely engrossing. Clever, amazing and inspiring
    Daily Mail

About the author

Elizabeth Fremantle

Elizabeth Fremantle is the critically acclaimed author of four Tudor historical novels: Queen's Gambit (soon to be the feature film, Firebrand), Sisters of Treason, Watch the Lady and The Girl in the Glass Tower. As E.C. Fremantle she has written two gripping historical thrillers: The Poison Bed and The Honey and the Sting. Her most recent novel, Disobedient, is a gripping feminist retelling of the life of seventeenth-century Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi. She lives in London.
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