Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham” as Want to Read:
The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham

by
3.91  ·  Rating details ·  469 ratings  ·  36 reviews
England, 1441:

Lady Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, hopes to become Queen of England before her interest in astrology and her husband’s ambition leads their enemies to accuse her of a plot against the king. Eleanor is found guilty of sorcery and witchcraft. Rather than have her executed, King Henry VI orders Eleanor to be imprisoned for life.

More than a century aft
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 3rd 2014 by WWD (first published November 2nd 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  469 ratings  ·  36 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham
Melinda
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Riches creates a narrative in diary format which connects the reader to the character providing a unmistakable level of palpable intimacy. Eleanor Cobham an ambiguous and unregarded personality from history reveals her life via a tell all diary. The reader will travel from past to present as Eleanor discloses all, holding nothing back. Perhaps the diary format or Eleanor herself in her vulnerable and raw state manages to miraculously evoke empathy from the reader, exact cause undermined but empa ...more
Jennifer
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an interesting read. Due to it's diary format it's not overly gripping or fast-paced, as Eleanor is looking back over her life from captivity, however it is informative and detailed when it comes to her relationship with Duke Humphrey and the war in France. Eleanor also details the marriage of Humphrey to his former wife, Jacqueline of Hainault, when she was lady-in-waiting to Jacqueline (ironic). Therefore the reader was given a good sense of who Humphrey was as a person and not just E ...more
☽ Su ☾
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
a great read ♥
The story is told in first person, as a secret diary telling the story of Eleanor Cobham's life and then her fall and imprisonment due to false accusations of sorcery and necromancy.

I highly recommend this one.
...more
Elizabeth Lloyd
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 you
...more
Samantha
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham tells the story of a woman who rose almost to be Queen of England before she fell spectacularly and thoroughly. Historical facts are not treated as spoilers.

As lady-in-waiting to Jacqueline of Hainault, Eleanor came under the radar of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester and uncle of Henry VI. First as his mistress and later as his wife, Eleanor demonstrates that she lacks the political skills to survive in the power struggle that was gearing up for all out civil war.
...more
Lisa
The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham is perhaps best summed up as being limited by its chosen format. It’s hard to make a diary work successfully as a novel. For a start, the tension is undercut by the fact that the reader knows that the “author” has to have survived to write down what’s happened, and the real author has to write spectacularly enough for the reader to overlook that.

Tony Riches, sadly, doesn’t, and he undercuts the tension even more by having the diary being written during Eleanor’
...more
Diane Riley
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Diary of a Disgraced Women

This story is told in diary form, both reporting on Eleanor’s present circumstances and the past stories that brought her to being held as a prisoner. This is a sad story of a strong woman swept up in the suspicious and petty society of England’s royalty and the people who profited from it. A family tree of some sort would have been helpful, especially as the story went from present to past and back again.
Darla
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
loved this story even though i had read other stories about eleanor cobham i found this one was more original i love reading about the histories of england in this story it shows how people reacted to "witch craft" in honesty it was that they did not believe when people used herbs especially to help heal or treat a specific condition it also shows just how the church had so much influence in one sense it is almost as if they ruled without having a crown..it is interesting to read about king henr ...more
Cynthia
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
THE SECRET DIARY OF ELEANOR COBHAM, Tony Riches, 2014
I admire my ancestors—they survived.
Mr. Riches tells the story of Eleanor Cobham, wife of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and brother of King Henry VI. Eleanor is mistress then wife of Humphrey who is not popular with the powers that be behind the king.
Eleanor ends up accused of witchcraft and sorcery, and she is divorced from her husband on these charges. After Eleanor’s arrest, we hear nothing of her husband.
This is a very interesting story
...more
Susan
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Quick read. Compelling and interesting character but alas, Mr. Riches is not a gifted story teller. Nevertheless, I will probably read another of his books because I like his choice of characters.
J
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read

I never heard of this lady before finding the book but I'm thrilled I did. Great story, well written, engrossing.
...more
Amanda
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham, by Tony Riches #RBRT

I would like to thank Tony for sending me copy to read and review as i am now part of Rosie Amber's book review team

The blurb

England, 1441:

Lady Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, hopes to become Queen of England before her interest in astrology and her husband’s ambition leads their enemies to accuse her of a plot against the king. Eleanor is found guilty of sorcery and witchcraft. Rather than have her executed, King Henry VI orders
...more
Elizabeth King
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
I found this frustrating and the main character unbelievable. Someone who’s lost her faith in god nevertheless telling us she judges not lest she be judged. Only she’s already been judged and found guilty.
She has to keep reminding us that Antigone is her daughter (not to be confused with any of the other non existent Antigones in 5he story) and reminding us of the rank and role of every other character. It’s almost as if the author didn’t expect us to pay attention.
The trouble with basing a lif
...more
K.M. Pohlkamp
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm usually skeptical of first person narration by an author of the opposite gender, but Riches' writing is perfection. I'm in awe of how he was able to enter the mind of Eleanor Cobham in this creative way to recount history. I was not previously aware of Eleanor's story and Riches masterfully weaves historical research and facts into the plot.

Written in a diary format, the constant jumps in time were a little jarring but also provided for successful foreshadowing that kept the book moving. I l
...more
Amy  McElroy
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
“I 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. 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 m
...more
Dayanara Ryelle
Jun 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
You know what the middle grade series "The Royal Diaries" did right? There was a narrative within the diary entries, which meant there was a "mental movie" I could watch.

You know what this book did wrong? Eleanor was just repeating information from her life and her imprisonment. I read a few pages, flipped forward and realized there wasn't going to be a movie, it was just going to be a lecture. And I don't read books for lectures.

I didn't even make it past the first chapter. Her Wikipedia page w
...more
ConstantReader
Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester is famous because she married the man far above her own station and was later accused of witchcraft. Little is known about the historical Eleanor but in this fictional account Tony Riches gave her the voice she deserves. It's a fictionalised account of Eleanor's life which I enjoyed immensely thanks to the author's remarkable storytelling skills. I recommend this book for everyone who loves medieval history. ...more
Diana Jackson
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Written in the first person as a diary, this was an extremely personal account. You could become part of the various fortresses where Eleanor was held; you could share her burden of guilt for those who suffered tragic death who she held in high esteem.
It was extremely well researched and obvious that the author knew the places described within very well.
A moving account of love and betrayal; how those favoured by the King could soon become enemies. An excellent read.
Kay S. Holden
I found this book to be repetitive in the storyline.


It was a slow read at times. I didn't feel the urgency to return to this read that I had with Tony's previous books.
...more
Carole O'Brien
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I really enjoyed reading this book.
Hazel Waite
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous

I loved this book more than any other. Tough times but so well written you almost feel you are there.
Mrs L.A. Bailey
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating

An intriguing account of an interesting woman doomed by political scheming. Not an innocent, but a portrait of a complex human being. I was drawn in.
Danielle
Apr 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible-books
Love anything Tony Riches writes, and of course, he knocked it out of the park again.
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
Royal Court to Royal Clink... Wow what a fascinating story! It's hard enough for me to keep up with all of the Presidents of the United States much less all of the Dukes and Duchesses, Earls, Viscounts and all of the other royals that graced the peerage of England and other countries through the years so I honestly wasn't familiar with Eleanor Cobham's story going into this. What little I did know about her came from the couple minutes of Wikipedia and Internet research I did before reading. Bas ...more
Supreya Mahabir
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Slow and not very entertaining. To get to know Eleanor Cobham-better read Juliet Dymoke books.
A more realistic, postive and alive depiction of people of the era.
Beverley Newman
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting perspective

I've long been aware of Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester and was keen to learn more. This novel has definitely helped me to do so. It tells the story of Eleanor's life, but gives the reader the opportunity to decide whether she deserved leniency or the degree of censure she received.
It also gives further insights into the power plays going on during the early years of Henry VI's majority, between Church and State to obtain control of the King.
In an interesting par
...more
Christine Cazeneuve
I did enjoy this story very much. I knew nothing of Eleanor Cobham so this was a new jorney for me. The book is written just as is stated in the title - its a diary. Eleanor goes back and forth between telling her story of how she came to be imprisoned for her life accused of witchcraft and her present life of living out her prison sentence. It by no means gets confusing - well written in every sense.

I loved the way the author, at least for me, had me conflicted with my feelings about Eleanor. I
...more
Karen
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a great book....

I have to say, I did not expect this book to be that good . The author, Tony Riches did an amazing job. Very easy to read, very easy to comprehend, and very easy to understand. I love that this author takes real facts and puts them into a story. I really love reading his books!! I would recommend this book to everyone!!


To The Author- if you read this review, You have an amazing gift for taking history and making me , the reader feel for the characters!! I read a lot of
...more
Carole
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If only!

This is a tale from the pen of a writer with a great imagination, based on fact both of characters and places. As a History graduate I know that such a discovery as a secret diary would be the equivalent of handling the crown jewels to anyone dreaming of that PhD! A more down to earth review says that I enjoyed this romp through Britain seen through the eyes of one who had a huge fall from grace, brought about by her own actions. Enjoyable and imaginative.
NayNay
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I real enjoyed this book! It was well written, engaging characters, and so interesting I read it in one sitting.
I am really digging TONY RICHES. I saw him and his books mentioned often on twitter and decided to give one a try, and ever since that first book I have not been disappointed.
I highly recommend this author to fans of historical fiction, and to people who just like a very good book.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Aug 31, 2015 09:40AM  
GOOD REVIEWS: Reviewers neeeded 1 23 Nov 12, 2014 06:55AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Heretic Wind: The Life of Mary Tudor, Queen of England
  • The Kiss of the Concubine: A story of Anne Boleyn
  • A Tapestry of Treason
  • Rose of the World: Rosamund Clifford-Mistress of King Henry II
  • The King's Commoner: The rise and fall of Cardinal Wolsey (The Tudor Saga #2)
  • My Fair Lady: A Story of Eleanor of Provence, Henry III's Lost Queen
  • The Lady Carey (Royal Court Series, #1)
  • My Father, My Enemy: Juliane, Daughter of Henry I (Medieval Babes: Tales of Little-Known Ladies Book 6)
  • To Crown A Rose (Royal Court Series #2)
  • Justice For The Cardinal: Thomas Cromwell is out for revenge... (The Tudor Saga #3)
  • The Arbella Stuart Conspiracy (The Marquess House Trilogy Book 3)
  • An Uneasy Crown: Power and politics at the Tudor court (The Tudor Saga Series Book 4)
  • The Queen In Waiting: Mary Tudor takes the throne (The Tudor Saga #5)
  • The Elizabeth Tudor Conspiracy (The Marquess House Trilogy #2)
  • Tudor Dawn (The Tudor Saga, #1)
  • Isabella: Braveheart of France
  • Timeless Falcon - Volume One: A Novel Of Anne Boleyn
  • Nest of Ashes (The Phoenix Trilogy: Story of Jane Seymour, #1)
See similar books…
416 followers
Tony Riches is a full-time author from Pembrokeshire, West Wales, an area full of inspiration for his writing.

Best known for his Tudor Trilogy, Tony's other international best sellers include 'Mary - Tudor Princess, 'Brandon - Tudor Knight' and 'Katherine - Tudor Duchess'.

In his spare time Tony enjoys sailing and sea kayaking. Visit Tony's website at www.tonyriches.com, Tony Riches Author on Fac
...more

News & Interviews

Oh hey, we're nearly halfway through 2021! We can't really believe it either... Traditionally, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial...
42 likes · 7 comments
“Autumn is the time of balance and of
sacrifice, a time when the light is defeated by darkness, a time
when night takes over and brings the coming winter. The
ancient wisdom says that those who long for light must face
their inner darkness and overcome it.”
9 likes
More quotes…