Book Review: The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham by Tony Riches

Genre: Historical fiction

Publisher: Endeavour Media

Pub date: 25 July 2019

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

β€œI was not a witch but they have made me one.”

I had come across Eleanor Cobham in previous reading but nothing in detail, only that she was Duchess of Gloucester and had been accused of witchcraft and sorcery. She was indeed a Duchess but previously had been a lady in waiting to Jacqueline of Hainaut. She began an affair with the “Good Duke Humphrey” (Brother to King Henry V) which ended with them both leaving France together, and Duke Humphrey leaving his wife Jacqueline of Hainaut alone.

Following their marriage it seems Eleanor, already intrigued by the fact her husband was heir to the throne developed an interest in astrology. The little I’ve read of Eleanor Cobham depicted her as greedy and arrogant, intentionally dabbling with magic with the aim to become Queen. Although she does still appear slightly arrogant in this book it didn’t depict her as intentionally wishing harm against the king in her experiments with horoscopes and spells which caused disaster for many and resulted in Eleanor being imprisoned for life.

Tony Riches brought Eleanor Cobham to life. She wasn’t depicted as the person I’d assumed she was and it makes me wonder what her intentions actually were.

Her story is beautifully written, and I enjoyed how the story was told by Eleanor herself, switching between her current imprisonment and her memories of better times when she was the leading lady at court, up until her downfall and imprisonment.

The switches in time were easy to follow and I through my enjoyed learning about her downfall and imprisonment.

This is now the seventh book by Tony Riches that I’ve read and haven’t been disappointed yet, they really are a pleasure to read. Tony Riches manages to shine light on the lives of those we all know with fictional embellishments but are based on true history.

You can get your copy here

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