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Head of Zeus
The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse
The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse: An Extraordinary Edwardian Case of Deception and Intrigue by Piu Marie Eatwell

The extraordinary story of the Druce-Portland affair, one of the most notorious, tangled and bizarre legal cases of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras.

In 1897 an elderly widow, Anna Maria Druce, made a strange request of the London Ecclesiastical Court: it was for the exhumation of the grave of her late father-in-law, T.C. Druce.

Behind her application lay a sensational claim: that Druce had been none other than the eccentric and massively wealthy 5th Duke of Portland, and that the – now dead – Duke had faked the death of his alter ego. When opened, Anna Maria contended, Druce's coffin would be found to be empty. And her children, therefore, were heirs to the Portland millions.

The legal case that followed would last for ten years. Its eventual outcome revealed a dark underbelly of lies lurking beneath the genteel facade of late Victorian England.

Head of Zeus * True Crime
11 Sep 2014 * 352pp * £6.99 * 9781781856079
'A lively account of the light shone on the lies, deceit and hypocrisy of Victorian society'
The Times
'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
'A lively and well-researched treat for fans of real-life historical mysteries'
Family Tree Magazine
'A meticulous examination of a late Victorian/early Edwardian cause célèbre ... 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'
Publishers Weekly
'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
'We can't recommend this enough'
All About History
'An utterly enthralling story and a light on the underside of Victorian and Edwardian life'
The Bookseller/We Love This Book
'Eatwell has undertaken a mountain of research, yet although her story is factual there is much artistry in the telling'
Historical Novel Society
Piu Marie Eatwell
Piu Marie Eatwell
Of mixed Asian/English descent, Piu Marie Eatwell has a congratulatory First Class degree from Oxford University. She has lived and worked in France for ten years.
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