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The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham by [Riches, Tony]
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The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Length: 286 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 768 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Preseli Press (2 Nov. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00P6SGGX6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,846 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book very much, as it is well researched and written with great sensitivity and understanding of the character. Although I had heard of Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, I didn't know anything about her, but having read this book, I feel I now know her well! The story is written in the the first person, and describes her privileged early life and love for her husband, the Duke of Gloucester. It also tells of her dangerous 'flirtation' with the occult which led her to being accused of witchcraft and being incarcerated for many years, ending with her imprisonment in Beaumaris Castle of the Isle of Anglesey where she died.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester was unknown to me until I began to read this book, but she features in Shakespeare’s play, Henry VI, and was a significant historical character.

Written in the first person as a secret coded diary we soon learn that Eleanor is imprisoned in Beaumaris Castle on the island of Anglesey, her fourth prison over nearly 10 years. Although I sympathised with her plight I was interested in how she would explain her circumstances.

After the death of her mother at a young age and estrangement from her father after his remarriage, Eleanor considered herself lucky to become a lady-in-waiting to Jacqueline Countess of Hainault, Holland and Zeeland. Escaping civil wars at home Jacqueline was a guest at court, trying to terminate her marriage to her unpleasant husband, Charles, Duke of Brabant on the grounds that he was her first cousin. Eleanor found the lively, attractive Countess good company, although she had to adjust to her condescending manner.

Eleanor became Jacqueline’s close friend so as a reader it is difficult to sympathise with Eleanor when she betrays that friendship. Jacqueline was staying at Baynard’s Castle, near St Paul’s wharf on the River Thames at the invitation of Humphrey Plantagenet, the Duke of Gloucester. When he joined the two women, both their lives changed for ever.

This story of Eleanor’s early life is gradually revealed by Eleanor as she also describes her everyday life as a captive at Beaumaris. Looking back, she has some regrets, but her ambition and love for Humphrey, probably dictated her actions. Her complex character is not whitewashed, we see her “warts and all,” and maybe begin to understand her better.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have just finished reading The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham which covers a time period in English history that I'm not familiar with.

It is written from the viewpoint of Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester who was put on trial for witchcraft and treason against Henry VI as a way of attacking her husband, Humphrey Duke of Gloucester.

The story switches between the past and present as Eleanor writes a diary, hiding it from view and coming to terms with the past as she puts it on the page.

The book flows and I found it hard to put down. There are also so me incredibly moving sequences towards the end, such as the horror of knowing her friends will be executed for treason in order to "prove" her guilt by association. The very last chapter where Eleanor sits with the old priest had me in tears.

It's been years since a book made me cry, the last time being Edith Pargeters "Heaven tree" trilogy. The story of Eleanor Cobham is a powerful story that will stay with me for ages.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If, like me, the little bit of history that you have read about Eleanor Cobham, does not show her in a great light. She comes over as greedy, always wanting more and more. More jewels, more money, more clothes and the best of palaces in which to live. In other books she seems to use Gloucester, who is also understood to be like her, to claw their way to the throne itself. This story is a love story. She came from an aristocratic family and fell in love with Humphrey, but I believe, she also saw him as a way to the very top. Did she try to find out her future? Probably, but I don't believe she plotted treason and the death of the King. I believe this story that maybe she was the scapegoat of Cardinal Beaufort to rid himself of Humphrey and he succeeded. I have always wanted to visit Beaumaris because of Princess Joanna, wife of Llewellyn Fawr and maybe Ellen de Monfort, wife of Llewellyn the Last Leader who were laid to rest at Llanfaes. It is sad Eleanor's resting place could not be found. A good read, well researched and perhaps this book gives Eleanor a voice down through the mists of time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had never heard of Eleanor Cobham so it was interesting to read about a woman not well known in history. I thought Tony Riches handled her story with sensitivity and knowledge. Obviously well researched. Having been to Beaumaris Castle where Eleanor was imprisoned quite recently ( though before I'd read the book) so I was able to imagine her stay there and what it must have been like. I enjoyed the book very much.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, I had never heard of Eleanor Cobham and I really got caught up in the authors description of her life incarcerated for witchcraft. The story was told by way of Eleanor writing a diary about her experiences, thoroughly enjoyable and I would read more from this author
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