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Petite Mort

“Like the silver screen world Hitchman portrays, her writing shimmers, drawing you in with glamour and trickery. A fascinating, beguiling and wily debut.” – Katie Ward

“Sumptuously set, elegantly written, evocative and quietly subversive” – Stella Duffy


…A silent film, destroyed in a fire in 1913 at the Pathé studio, before it was seen even by its director. A lowly seamstress, who makes the costumes she should be wearing, but believes her talent – and the secret she keeps too – will soon get her a dressing room of her own.

A beautiful house in Paris, with a curving staircase, a lake, and locked rooms. A famous – and dashing – creator of spectacular cinematic illusions, husband to a beautiful, volatile actress, the most adored icon of the Parisian studios. All fit together, like scenes in a movie. And as you will see, this plot has a twist we beg you not to disclose…

Published by Serpent’s Tail, 2013


I imagine the spells I would need to transform myself into her. In my mind’s eye I see myself in a dress that shimmers like fish-scales, my face heart-shaped, all my gestures graceful, surrounded by people who love me...

Press Reviews


‘There’s a touch of Angela Carter about Beatrice Hitchman’s beguiling debut…complex and cerebral, Petite Mort is softened by beautifully drawn characters, lightly drizzled period detail and an abiding suspicion that love and cinema might be part of the same illusion…’

The Guardian


“An impressive and enjoyable debut: nimble, deft, and wrapped luxuriously in the velveteen glamour of the movies”

Financial Times


“A dazzling tour de force…by turns sensitive and coarse, gentle and brutal, beguiling and horrifying”

– Polari Magazine



“Hitchman’s confident debut is a story about relationships and the risks we take to get what we want. Universal themes, beautifully explored.”

– DIVA Book of the Month, March 2013


“An unputdownable debut”

For Books Sake review, March 2013

“An elegantly written, richly satisfying novel…a photographic appreciation for the texture of light.”

Silent London, March 2013

“Gorgeously written … with a fantastic twist at the very end … fascinating.”


“Movie junkies will love this surprising and original novel … the story winds itself in knots, then unravels deftly, providing a satisfactory judgment day for the sexy yet heartless central characters in a wholly unexpected ending.”

Daily Mail 

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