Local author David Ebsworth is taking pre-orders for his new book, an historical novel about the "wicked" wife of Elihu Yale, through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.
The book comes highly recommended and if anyone wants to pre-order a copy it will help him to get the book launched successfully.
It starts in 1721 when an elderly Catherine Yale discovers that her second husband Elihu has left her nothing in his will except the slur of naming her a “wicked wife.”
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; about the conflicts she must endure as a mother now to the additional children she conceives with Elihu; about her role as a spy for the political factions determined to prevent a Catholic succession to the English crown; and about the realisation that she is now wed to a husband she is quickly coming to despise.
Yet these past 50 years, since the early days of her short and tragic first marriage to darling Joseph, the diaries have been kept safe and secret. Or have they? Perhaps it’s time to read them afresh, to go back before the days when Elihu first betrayed her, before she was betrayed also by the East India Company women who should have stood at her side – before she wreaked her own special revenge on them all.
David says of his book: "It was a chance meeting. Our local Wrexham MP Ian Lucas asking me if I’d ever thought of writing a story about our local historical celebrity, Elihu Yale.
"Yale has a very fine and famous tomb in the grounds of St Giles Parish Church and is taught to Wrexham schoolkids as the philanthropist who bequeathed some of his wealth, and his name, to help found one of the world’s most famous universities, in New Haven, Connecticut.
"But I knew enough else about Yale to understand that, while he may have been the original nabob, he also made much of his wealth through the Indian slave trade – and thus he didn’t interest me much as a protagonist for a novel. But life’s never that simple and, out of respect for Ian’s own interest, I decided to dig a bit deeper.
"I then stumbled on a copy of Elihu Yale’s will, sent to me from the National Archives. And a remarkable document it turned out to be. This entry, a single line: To My Wicked Wife… And then? Nothing. No bequest. Not even her name. Simply a large blank space.
So who was she? And why so wicked?
"A lot of the story is pure fiction but all Catherine’s family background is authentic."
The novel, David's seventh, is due for publication on April 8 but it’s available to pre-order now through a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign, the link to which is:
The Doubtful Diaries of Wicked Mistress Yale on Kickstarter
The second novel in the trilogy, Wicked Mistress Yale, The Glorious Return is due for publication in late-autumn 2019, and picks up Catherine’s story with her return to a London turned upside down in 1689, while the third part, Wicked Mistress Yale, The Parting Glass, is scheduled for release in mid-2020.