44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
So glad I bought this.,
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This review is from: Eleanor: The Secret Queen: The Woman Who Put Richard III on the Throne (Hardcover)
If I had taken notice of the negative reviews I would not have bought this book, so I am grateful to the authors of the positive reviews that persuaded me to buy it. It was certainly time that an author investigated the life of this neglected lady who was almost written out of history by Tudor authors. The book is well-researched and very thorough in examining Eleanor's descent and family connections. Instead of her being some shadowy hanger-on on the edge of society she is shown to be a woman of some importance, the eldest daughter of an earl, descended from Edward I and Edward III and related to the Beauchamp, Mowbray and Neville families. Her marriage to Edward IV, then, was no mesalliance but a very suitable match had Edward not been king and expected to make a dynastic marriage. In the end, of course, he didn't do this either. The fact that Edward made another SECRET marriage was why his children by Elizabeth Woodville were illegitimate - if he had married Elizabeth in public then the marriage would have been in good faith on Elizabeth's part and her children would have been legitimate. Of course if they had published banns Eleanor would have had chance to object. Fascinating stuff.
What Eleanor did after Edward abandoned her is interesting too. She made endowments to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and also became associated with the Carmelite order at Norwich, in whose church she was buried. She had moved to Norfolk probably to be near her sister, Elizabeth, the Duchess of Norfolk (whose small daughter, Anne, was married to Richard, younger son of Edward IV).
All-in-all a very interesting read and an important book. Maybe we will never know for sure what really happened, but the author's interpretation of the evidence he has uncovered is fair-handed and faultless.