Piu Eatwell

Author of 'The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse', 'They Eat Horses, Don’t They? The Truth About the French' and 'F is for France: A Curious Cabinet of French Wonders'.


The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse

1898: The Dukes of Portland are one of the richest aristocratic families in the land. Not only does the family seat - Welbeck Abbey - cast its brooding presence over the Black Country, but another branch of the family owns a large swathe of central London. But the very future of the Portland millions is about to be challenged by a single, fragile woman....

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A juicy narrative history packed with revelations about unsavory goings-on among the upper classes in late Victorian England.
— Boston Globe

It’s Downton Abbey meets The Addams Family in Piu Marie Eatwell’s The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse, a delightfully offbeat history of a bizarre Edwardian legal case that became tabloid fodder and kept the British public spellbound for a decade... Eatwell’s marvelous book reads like a Wilkie Collins gothic novel, but at times truth is stranger than fiction.
— Library Journal, Editor’s Picks

…a lively account of the light shone through these embarrassing proceedings on the lies, deceit and hypocrisy of Victorian society and their tragic consequences.
— The Times (UK)

The rigorous research is the book’s strength. Eatwell often digresses to insert background, enriching the narrative with juicy details from the time period, or to note other sensational cases (both George Eliot and Charles Dickens were involved in double lives, for instance), positing that the period’s restrictive social mores often forced people into scandalous situations.
— Publishers Weekly

An engrossing tale of mystery, lies and intrigue.
— Kirkus

A superb unraveling of a sensational mystery – and an absolutely gripping read.
— David King, bestselling author of 'Death in the City of Light'

The Dead Duke reads like the very best kind of engaging conversation…from someone passionate about and knowledgeable on a subject.
— All About History

An utterly enthralling story and a light on the underside of Victorian and Edwardian life.
— The Bookseller

Eatwell has undertaken a mountain of research, yet although her story is factual there is much artistry in the telling.
— The Historical Novel Society

A lively and well-researched treat for fans of real-life historical mysteries.
— Family Tree Magazine

A brilliant forensic analysis of the intriguing Druce case, and wonderfully revealing of the many layers beneath Victorian respectability.
— Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, judge on Richard III reinterment case

The Druce-Portland case gripped Edwardian England, and you can see why. An eccentric Duke, a mysterious claimant to the title, a long legal battle to open a grave in pursuit of a huge fortune – it’s a thoroughly engrossing story, in the best traditions of Mr Whicher.
— Nicholas Best, author of 'Tennis and the Masai' and 'Five Days that Shocked the World'

The story of the Duke of Portland and his fortune makes compelling reading.
— M.J. Trow, author of the 'Inspector Lestrade' detective series

An astonishing mixture of formidable research and great storytelling.
— Tim Bentinck, actor, voice of David Archer in BBC series The Archers, 12th Earl of Portland and distant cousin of the 5th Duke of Portland, the subject of the book