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The True Story Inspiration Behind The Doll Factory on Paramount


The Doll Factory True Story
Credit: Paramount Plus

If you're into spine-chilling thrillers set in 19th-century London, Paramount's newest UK series might be for you. The Doll Factory tells the story of a woman who dreams of becoming a painter, that is until she becomes the muse of a man who is obsessed with her. Now, the question is, is The Doll Factory based on a true story?

What is Paramount's The Doll Factory About?

The Doll Factory True Story
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Credit: Paramount Plus

Paramount just released The Doll Factory on the streamer, and it's already garnering attention due to the Janes Eyre and Charles Dickens-esque quality of storytelling.

The official synopsis for The Doll Factory reads:

The Doll Factory follows the life of Iris, who paints dolls for a living alongside her twin sister. Iris then meets two men, Silas and Louis, where their lives become intertwined. As the series unfolds, dark, chilling truths are exposed.

Watching the six-episode series, fans couldn't help but find the story eerily familiar. So, is The Doll Factory actually based on a true story? Here's what you're missing.

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What is The Doll Factory Based On?

Read from Paramount Plus' synopsis description of The Doll Factory, the original period thriller was actually adapted from the bestselling novel of the same name.

Written by Elizabeth Macneal, the author also wrote the inspiration behind her creation of the novel. As it turned out, The Doll Factory was rooted in the true life of Lizzie Siddall.

A Brief Story Behind Elizabeth Siddal

Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall was famous for becoming artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti's favorite model and muse.

Siddal is more famously known for posing for John Everett Millais's painting, Ophelia, in 1852 before later marrying Rossetti and turning into a painter herself.

In the duration of their marriage, Siddal made a name for herself for being the only woman to exhibit at an 1857 Pre-Raphaelite exhibition.

The Doll Factory exudes a similar storyline. Iris dreams of learning how to paint (beyond the doll shop). Once she meets the artist Louis Frost, who seeks to make her his muse, Iris holds one condition for him to hold: to teach her how to paint.

As Macneal wrote on her website on how The Doll Factory story came to her mind:

How would it feel to be plucked from the obscurity of a milliner’s shop, to be transported into a bohemian world of precocious and talented young artists, to be a muse and model while also yearning to become an artist, to fall in love with Rossetti and to learn to paint from him?

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