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Diana's Story

Diana's Story [Kindle Edition]

Deric Longden
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

‘It’s not easy to stop the tears when you read ‘Diana’s Story.’ Sometimes they are tears of grief, sometimes of laughter. Mostly like much of what’s good about life, they’re both. Chock full of gorgeous, fruity characters, this is a wonderfully rich, life-enchanting read.’ Maureen Lipman (whose late husband, Jack Rosenthal, wrote the screenplay ‘Wide Eyed and Legless’ based on the book)

'A funny, sad, and above all, enormously inspiring story.' Clare Francis, Action for M.E.

'A remarkable book, warm and sad… laced with a lot of humour.’ Sunday Express

‘I’ve been lucky with the women in my life. My mother brought me up to be tough and self-reliant, but at the same time made quite sure she had removed all those stick-out macho edges before she let me loose on the world.

So when I met my first wife, Diana, I was able to delight in her ambition and independence. We were together for twenty seven years, but life became harder for her over the last fifteen as she became more and more ill and paralysed. Diana never received a satisfactory diagnosis in her life. It was the pain and uncertainty of not knowing what was wrong and the endless rounds of visits to hospital and the endless rounds of invasive tests which led nowhere. Diana said about the doctors, ‘I am beginning to feel sorry for them.’ Diana’s life ended in an awful death by accidental drowning in the bath during a blackout.

I never knew about ‘ME’ (myalgic encephalomyelitis) until some time later and when a diagnosis can’t be made with a sufferer, it condemns them to a lifetime of pain and repetitive trials, if only to prove their pain is real and the doctors are wrong.’
Deric Longden

Diana’s Story was made into a BBC TV Drama ‘Wide Eyed and Legless,’ which starred Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Dame Thora Hird.

From the Back Cover

In 1971 Deric Longden's wife Diana fell ill with the mysterious disorder known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis). She was unable to move without a wheelchair, and was in almost constant pain. Equally distressing, perhaps, was the fact that every doctor she saw was unable to diagnose what was wrong with her. Deric, devoting more and more time to looking after Diana, watched his business gradually fail, and had to neglect his developing career as a broadcaster. He became househusband, nurse and caretaker of the woman he loved.

Diana's Story is told by a writer who can transform the bleakest moment with his warmth and wit. It is an extraordinarily funny account of a marriage based on love and on an exceptional sense of humour.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 397 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bibliophile Books (1 Mar 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Q7CMSG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,084 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Deric Longden was born in Chesterfield in 1936 and married Diana Hill in 1957. They had two children, Sally and Nick. After various jobs he took over a small factory making women's lingerie, but began writing and broadcasting in the 1970s and before long he was writing regularly for programmes like 'Does He Take Sugar?' and 'Womans Hour'. Most of his work was based on his own experience. The demands made on him by Diana's illness, subsequently believed to be a form of ME, forced him to sell the factory, and since then he has devoted himself to full-time writing, broadcasting, lecturing and after-dinner speaking.

Diana's Story, published in 1989, some years after Diana's death, was a bestseller. The book hit the Sunday Times best seller list straight away, won the NCR book award. It was followed by Lost for Words, The Cat Who Came in from the Cold, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, Enough to Make a Cat Laugh and A Play On Words. Deric Longden's first two books were adapted for television under the title Wide-Eyed and Legless, and an adaptation of Lost for Words. Both were nominated for multiple BAFTAs and Lost For Words, screened in January 1999, attracting an audience of more than 12 million viewers and won the Emmy for best foreign drama and a BAFTA for Thora Hird as best actress.

He married the writer Aileen Armitage in 1990 and now lives in Huddersfield. Aileen and he were jointly were awarded honorary Doctor of Literature from Huddersfield University in 2004 and Deric a honorary Master of Letters from Derby University in 2006.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 30 Nov 1999
Before I read this I'd only read Deric's books about his life now with lots of cute cats and only the occasional sad bit, but this just shows the extent of the power he has with words. We've all lost relatives and some of them may have spent a while in hospital, but this just takes the cake. Deric Longden writes about his life with Diana as it happened and the most powerful parts are those when he shows us how his mind was working at the worst moments of their life together. He brings Diana to life superbly and shows her strength, courage and that she was a real person, with feelings, fears and hopes and that is something that is forgotten so easily when a person is confined to a wheelchair. The best example of this is the bit in the restaurant when Diana says to Deric "You didn't tell her (the waitress) about my periods." because so many doctors talk to Deric about these things, instead of asking Diana herself. The bit in the restaurant is one of the funny moments, of which there are many, and these show that Deric is the same absent-minded and humerous bloke he is in his later books. This one has to be read in order to understand him fully - buy it now!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book follows the story of the authors wife, Diana. It tells of her brave fight against a somewhat undiagnosed ME and the subsequent battle for normality in what can only be described as a slightly odd household! This book had me in fits of laughter and floods of tears, as Deric Longden tells the story in such a true to life way that you really do feel that you are a "fly on the wall." The people that you meet along the way are a credit to the story and must feel proud to be included in such a wonderful piece of writing. The sad end to this story is written with the compassion and understanding of someone that could have only been there all the way through. Diana and Deric were surely very lucky to have known each other.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book - about real love.. 22 May 2007
By Margaret7 VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have had all of Deric Longden's books since I first 'discovered' 'Enough to Make a Cat Laugh', back in 1995. I get each of them out of the bookcase every year or two and re-read them because all of them are so real, and so beautiful - and, despite the depth of pain and despair in some of them, so very funny.

But this book is something else, along with 'Lost for Words'... Deric knows - not just in his heart, but right to the depths of his soul - what love really is. They way he cared for, and loved, his wife Diana and his lovely Mum - and the way he is able to share that with us - is just outstanding. And an example in 'how to' to us all..

And I can highly recommend - with all my heart - reading this book if you have lost your partner after a long illness.. I re-read 'Diana's Story' a few months after my beloved husband passed - he had M.E. (as did I), although he passed with a heart attack (at 46..). He was not as badly affected as Diana, but he had the wheelchair and the pain and - well, you get the idea.. And reading Deric's book helped me to find my way out of the inevitable guilt - not just about not having done enough, not having been patient enough, not being there enough (because I, too, had to work) - but also not being able to either help him get better, or to save him.. I can honestly say it helped me to survive, just knowing - because of the way Deric, so honestly and openly, tells his story - that I was not the only one, and I was OK after all.. I don't imagine I will ever get to meet him - but, gee, I'd love to. Just to say 'thank you'. He is a very special human being.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching, moving, incredible story 20 May 2001
By A Customer
What a fantastic book! My mother lent me this to read after she had attended an evening where Deric Longden was the guest speaker. She queued for hours for him to sign her copy - and now I know why! A book hasn't made me laugh so much, or cry so much for a long time. I couldn't put it down and when finally, I came to the last page, the memories stayed with me for days. In fact, I don't think they will ever leave.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you dont read this book you will regret it! 24 July 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My own favourite book of all time. The writing is superb,even though its about ordinary (and sometimes very extraordinary life). It is both the funniest and saddest book I have ever read. I read it the first time at Gatwick Airport and I had to go to wash my face as I was laughing so much that people were starting to stare. Diana was an incredible women with an even more incredible husband. I wish I had known here but feel I do from the book, even if it just a little. Dont miss this one!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignantly funny and tragically sad 4 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This book restored my faith in human nature. I laughed outloud and cried unashamedly.The love and respect Deric felt for Diana was apparent from page one, but for me without a coubt, the star of the book was Mrs Longden Senior-Oh how I wish I could have met her.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving. 9 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This book is fantastic, it brings bqack so many memories of those that have been lost. The courage of Diana is self evident and the strength of Deroc is admirable. If you read one book in your life make it this one, its warmth and humour is beyond words. I think that this is one of the best books ever written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I can honestly say, without a word of exaggeration, that this is my favourite book ever. It is highly emotional but I literally couldn't put it down, frequenly laughing out loud and recounting epiodes to my husband- e.g. when the lady from Chester, setting up for Deric's speech, says, "Is that the voice you'll be using when you speak?" - Needless to say I passed the book on to him to read immediately after I'd finished. He also found it amazing. What a fantastic tribute to Diana and Deric - in fact the whole family are great. Highly educting about a cruel unforgiveable disease. I have been spurred on to find out more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What a beautiful requiem for a very special lady.
As always Deric`s writing moved me to laughter and tears. You are a very special man. Downloading the next one!
Published 1 month ago by Vicki Swaine
5.0 out of 5 stars Diana's Story
Well written, honest, funny, gentle & tender.
Highlights the difficulties & dilemmas faced by those with conditions that do not conform to the list of acceptable diseases... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Deanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great book, humourous and very moving.
Published 4 months ago by S. Marsden
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant in every way
Published 5 months ago by Mr J Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars diana,s story
Beautifully written x sad but full of hope in the face of adversity! No matter what was thrown at them!!!
Published 5 months ago by Maggie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great author
Poignant and real. Makes you feel that there are good honest people around. Would recommend this book for light reading
Published 5 months ago by Beakelsand
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and thought provoking
Deric Longdon's love for his wife Diana, shines through in every word he writes. A sad (but not morbid), funny memoir about living with an undiagnosed (back then) illness. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Janet Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Longden......wonderful
I had heard about this book at first when my late mother read it years ago.. I had been diagnosed with ME and she wrote to Deric about my condition,he was so supportive and wrote... Read more
Published 7 months ago by lin
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Laughted and cried great book read nearly all by author great man who would have been so easy to love. Thanks for sharing this story with us
Published 7 months ago by Diane
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
This is a really funny, yet moving story about a lady who had an illness that couldn't be diagnosed at that time. Having M.S. Read more
Published 7 months ago by D0ssie
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