The Doubtful Diaries of
Wicked Mistress Yale
by David Ebsworth
April 8, 2019
at SilverWood Books
David Ebsworth is a fantastic writer. I featured him on France Book Tour, with The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour, in a very successful book tour.
1721, and elderly Catherine Yale discovers that second husband Elihu’s will has left her no bequest except the slur of branding her a “wicked wife.”
True, her private journals are filled with intimacies: her inner thoughts about life in Old Madras, where the East India Company’s intrigues are as complex as any in the Mughal Emperor’s court; and the espionage she has undertaken, despite the danger into which it has thrust both herself and her children.
Perhaps it’s time for her to read them afresh, to go back before the days when Elihu first betrayed her, before she was betrayed by her enemies, and betrayed by the friends who should have stood at her side – before she determined to wreak her revenge on them all.
The Yale Trilogy
The second part of the Yale trilogy, Mistress Yale’s Diaries, the Glorious Return, is due for publication during the autumn of 2019, and the third and final book, Wicked Mistress Yale, the Parting Glass, during the summer of 2020.
Elihu Yale, Welsh nabob, East India Company merchant adventurer, collector, philanthropist – and slave trader – gave his name to one of the world’s most famous universities. His biography has been written many times, most notably by the American academic, explorer and politician Hiram Bingham, who is generally credited with the discovery of Machu Picchu. Yet Yale’s biographers have consistently paid scant regard to his wife, Catherine, who was married to him for 41 years.
If poor Catherine gets a mention at all, it’s because of Yale’s last will and testament in which he most notably wrote: To my wicked wife… and then left a very large blank, not even giving the poor woman her name. Yet, with a modest amount of research, Catherine’s story turns out to be at least as intriguing as Elihu’s own tale. And The Doubtful Diaries of Wicked Mistress Yale begins to tell that story in a way you’ll never forget.
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