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Secret Marriages: Edward IV, Eleanor & Elizabeth

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Eleanor Talbot, newly widowed after the Battle of Blore Heath, meets Edward, Earl of March. It is a time of trials when the Lancastrians and Yorkists fight for supremacy...and the throne of England. The Talbots are staunch Lancastrians; Edward is the Son of York. The Battles of Mortimer's Cross and the bloodbath of Towton lead to Edward taking the crown. A secret marriage Eleanor Talbot, newly widowed after the Battle of Blore Heath, meets Edward, Earl of March. It is a time of trials when the Lancastrians and Yorkists fight for supremacy...and the throne of England. The Talbots are staunch Lancastrians; Edward is the Son of York. The Battles of Mortimer's Cross and the bloodbath of Towton lead to Edward taking the crown. A secret marriage is hatched between the young King and Eleanor, but the “secret queen” is never announced to the Council. King Edward’s womanising reaches new heights as, within a short time, his eye falls on another widowed beauty, Elizabeth Woodville, whom he also marries in a private, hidden ceremony. Mortified by all that has happened, Eleanor seeks atonement in religion,...but will her past catch her up? Will the secret remain secret? A story of love and lust spanning two families, the Talbots and the Woodvilles, and two women both similar and yet very different. One who became Queen of England, and one who might have been.


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Eleanor Talbot, newly widowed after the Battle of Blore Heath, meets Edward, Earl of March. It is a time of trials when the Lancastrians and Yorkists fight for supremacy...and the throne of England. The Talbots are staunch Lancastrians; Edward is the Son of York. The Battles of Mortimer's Cross and the bloodbath of Towton lead to Edward taking the crown. A secret marriage Eleanor Talbot, newly widowed after the Battle of Blore Heath, meets Edward, Earl of March. It is a time of trials when the Lancastrians and Yorkists fight for supremacy...and the throne of England. The Talbots are staunch Lancastrians; Edward is the Son of York. The Battles of Mortimer's Cross and the bloodbath of Towton lead to Edward taking the crown. A secret marriage is hatched between the young King and Eleanor, but the “secret queen” is never announced to the Council. King Edward’s womanising reaches new heights as, within a short time, his eye falls on another widowed beauty, Elizabeth Woodville, whom he also marries in a private, hidden ceremony. Mortified by all that has happened, Eleanor seeks atonement in religion,...but will her past catch her up? Will the secret remain secret? A story of love and lust spanning two families, the Talbots and the Woodvilles, and two women both similar and yet very different. One who became Queen of England, and one who might have been.

30 review for Secret Marriages: Edward IV, Eleanor & Elizabeth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Juliew.

    I always enjoy this particular period in English history so the subject of this was especially fascinating to me.I found it was well written and nicely told.While I didn't agree with the continuous myths about Elizabeth Woodville and some of the accounts of events as a whole it was entertaining and I think a perfectly good read for a British royalty fan. I always enjoy this particular period in English history so the subject of this was especially fascinating to me.I found it was well written and nicely told.While I didn't agree with the continuous myths about Elizabeth Woodville and some of the accounts of events as a whole it was entertaining and I think a perfectly good read for a British royalty fan.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    J.P. Reedman takes the idea that Edward IV did have a secret marriage with Lady Eleanor Butler and that it wasn't just made up whole cloth by Richard III in order to take the throne, and presents a highly realistic depiction of how the marriage might have happened and played out. Edward is just the worst here, and I just wanted to give poor Eleanor a hug! Doesn't pull punches on how powerless even the nobility could be, and does an excellent job portraying how responsible Edward was for how thin J.P. Reedman takes the idea that Edward IV did have a secret marriage with Lady Eleanor Butler and that it wasn't just made up whole cloth by Richard III in order to take the throne, and presents a highly realistic depiction of how the marriage might have happened and played out. Edward is just the worst here, and I just wanted to give poor Eleanor a hug! Doesn't pull punches on how powerless even the nobility could be, and does an excellent job portraying how responsible Edward was for how things happened - while also acknowledging that Elizabeth Woodville "won" the same gambit because she had her family backing her, especially her formidable mother. Great examination and speculation on an often overlooked section of Edward IV's reign.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Calkin

    I've never had a hard time accepting that the story of Edward IV’s precontract with Eleanor Talbot is true. It was exactly what he did with Elizabeth Woodville. He didn’t reveal the marriage with Elizabeth until forced to do so by Warwick pressuring him to marry Bona of Savoy. This novella also highlights the differences between Edward’s two wives: Eleanor was of a serious, religious bent of mind who she had given into lust when she married Edward. When he discarded her, she immersed herself in a I've never had a hard time accepting that the story of Edward IV’s precontract with Eleanor Talbot is true. It was exactly what he did with Elizabeth Woodville. He didn’t reveal the marriage with Elizabeth until forced to do so by Warwick pressuring him to marry Bona of Savoy. This novella also highlights the differences between Edward’s two wives: Eleanor was of a serious, religious bent of mind who she had given into lust when she married Edward. When he discarded her, she immersed herself in a religious life of self-denial. Elizabeth, on the other hand, was not one to give up so easily and used her wiles to keep a hold on him by claiming she was pregnant. And, as noted, the timing worked in her favor as she presented Edward a way to avoid the marriage proposed by Warwick. Why didn’t Eleanor or her family speak out? This story demonstrates why they didn’t. They were scared and for good reason as illustrated by Edward’s vindictive actions to take back property after Eleanor’s death. What a creep he he could be. 02/06/2021: After finishing John Ashdown-Hill’s non-fiction book about Eleanor Talbot, I decided to give this novella a quick re-read. It demonstrates how a gifted writer can make can breathe life into a cold historical record, making the the people come alive and their actions understandable.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Deyanira C.

    I loved it. This is not a long story and as the cover says is a fictional version of the possible secret marriage between Edward and Eleonor Talbot, before being King, in order to have sex with the widower Eleonor, Edward Earl of March, married her in secret and once I got what he wanted he sent her away, later he got the crown of England and he tried the same with Elizabeth Woodville but guess what ? This girl didn't allow him, she was smart, ambitious and lucky, at the end she became queen of E I loved it. This is not a long story and as the cover says is a fictional version of the possible secret marriage between Edward and Eleonor Talbot, before being King, in order to have sex with the widower Eleonor, Edward Earl of March, married her in secret and once I got what he wanted he sent her away, later he got the crown of England and he tried the same with Elizabeth Woodville but guess what ? This girl didn't allow him, she was smart, ambitious and lucky, at the end she became queen of England, while Eleonor was sent away , forgotten by Edward IV. What can I say this story made me very sad, I wanted to travel in time just to punch Edward in his face, seriously the way he acted was so low, and I truly buy this story, incredible well done novel and what I liked the most is to be able to explored someone so interesting and usually ignored as Eleonor Talbot. I will not go into the debate of whether the pre contract existed or not, because this is a novel but all what I will say is that I don't have doubts that Edward IV could be the most handsome and golden king but also an awful person when he wanted.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Rich, strong, powerful men have always been able to get what they want - even back in the olden times. Back in the good old days wars were fought over ideology-just like today-only then it was hand to hand battle. Women were left home to worry, take care of the home and become widows. Unlike today--widows were most times taken advantage of. Politics played a large part in the world back then as it does today. Such was the case when the Earl of March met Eleanor Talbot. Edward was young,handsome a Rich, strong, powerful men have always been able to get what they want - even back in the olden times. Back in the good old days wars were fought over ideology-just like today-only then it was hand to hand battle. Women were left home to worry, take care of the home and become widows. Unlike today--widows were most times taken advantage of. Politics played a large part in the world back then as it does today. Such was the case when the Earl of March met Eleanor Talbot. Edward was young,handsome and strong. Eleanor was in his sights and he decided that he would marry her in secret to get from her what he wanted. The Earl of March became the King of England. Eleanor was left behind--he barely even thought of her after he gave her some land. Eleanor kept the secret of her marriage even unto death--even when the King committed bigamy and married another. This is a tale of love and betrayal. I found myself comparing then to now. This is the second book in this series-I liked it enough that I just bought the first--watch for my review!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Leonard

    A pacy read I love historical fiction and this definitely ticked a lot of boxes for me. It felt authentic and there were pleasing details and descriptions that drew me along with the story. I just felt as though there was some element missing. Perhaps it was the limitation that the characters weren’t able to redeem themselves or demonstrate much personal growth, as this would require some rewriting of history!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christine Cazeneuve

    I liked it but it seemed so chronologically different from other books I have read. I don't want to give spoilers but if you know the story you will quickly see it. I don't have issue with changes, that's what I enjoy about historical fiction, but it lacked character reaction. Not my favorite of this author. I liked it but it seemed so chronologically different from other books I have read. I don't want to give spoilers but if you know the story you will quickly see it. I don't have issue with changes, that's what I enjoy about historical fiction, but it lacked character reaction. Not my favorite of this author.

  8. 5 out of 5

    unknown

    Informative Four stars. Enjoyed this book. I hadn't read any of this Authors work before but I will lol out for further books. the only reason I did not give five stars is because the book ended so abruptly. I was left looking for more. Informative Four stars. Enjoyed this book. I hadn't read any of this Authors work before but I will lol out for further books. the only reason I did not give five stars is because the book ended so abruptly. I was left looking for more.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Echols

    Quite a Story This is quite the tale dealing with a new king drunk on power who decides he will have things his way. I find the author's theory interesting. Well-written characters and an interesting story. Quite a Story This is quite the tale dealing with a new king drunk on power who decides he will have things his way. I find the author's theory interesting. Well-written characters and an interesting story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shirl Peters

    Historical fiction Secret Marriages is a fictional imagining of the young "loves" of Edward IV. I have been studying this period of English history. The fiction helped set the characters in my head. Historical fiction Secret Marriages is a fictional imagining of the young "loves" of Edward IV. I have been studying this period of English history. The fiction helped set the characters in my head.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia Cochran

    This book is a captivating read. Well researched and put together. It is easy to lose yourself in this book and read it in one sitting.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rosie Lee

    Flipping brilliant

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janina

  14. 4 out of 5

    miss gillian whittingham

  15. 5 out of 5

    PAMELA NICHOLS

  16. 4 out of 5

    sally d cunningham

  17. 4 out of 5

    Danette McAfee

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jean Goldsbrough

  20. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Buckman

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia

  22. 4 out of 5

    sally white

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lee Ann

  24. 5 out of 5

    Soew Chin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Terry

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda Golliher

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Mackman

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dierdri Connolly

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dee

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Baily

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