“This book is a wonderful collection of chapters, all of them exquisitely crafted, most of them small – some very small, like the golden tesserae on the ceiling of St Mark’s cathedral in Venice, an image drawn from the book.”

The Historical Novel Society


“It is 1576 and Venice is in chaos, ravaged by plague and overrun by crime. In the midst of this anarchy we find those brave souls who have chosen not to flee the city. Titian most celebrated of Venetian painters, his health failing badly; Sebastiano, a gondolier who is the eyes and ears of the corrupted and crumbling city.  And Tullia the most notorious courtesan of the age who must fight to retain her status as well as her worldly possessions.

In the present day, the echoes of what happened centuries earlier still ripple as the lives of ordinary people as far distant as London and New York are touched by the legacy of old Venice …”

Of the book Francesco da Mosto said:

“Travelling across time and place, this compelling intrigue captures the beauty of several Venices and the essence of Titian – the city’s most scandalous genius.”

And Sunday Times bestseller Rory Clement said:

“From the squalid glamour of 16th century Venice to modern-day London and New York, Titian’s Boatman demonstrates the power of art to bridge the years and transform lives. With fine elegant brush-strokes, Victoria Blake has created a rich and enchanting novel.”

I would be delighted if you bought it! You can buy it here:

Or down below. Now at this point I hear you exclaim,  ‘But it is a different book!’ But it isn’t. TITIAN’S BOATMAN is the same book as THE RETURN OF THE COURTESAN. The paperback has been re-titled and given a different cover and is out at the end of July 2017. New cover and new title but the same glorious contents!


But of course there is also your Independent Bookshop which deserves your love and attention. I used to work as a bookseller and therefore have a particular affection for them. So please consider ordering from them as well. Here’s a great link to do that:

There’s some additional material about my writing of the book in the THE RETURN OF THE COURTESAN:BLOG link  in the top menu. I very much hope you enjoy it!