At the close of the Victorian era, as now, privacy was power. The extraordinarily wealthy 5th Duke of Portland had a mania for it, hiding in his carriage and building tunnels between buildings to avoid being seen. In 1897, an elderly widow asked the court to exhume the grave of her late father-in-law, T. C. Druce, under the suspicion that he'd led a double life as the 5th Duke. The eccentric duke, Anna Maria contended, had faked his death as Druce, and her son should inherit the Portland millions. Revealing a dark underbelly of Victorian society, Piu Marie Eatwell evokes an era when the rise of sensationalist media blurred every fact into fiction and when family secrets and fluid identities pushed class anxieties to new heights.
About the Author
Piu Marie Eatwell is the author of" They Eat Horses, Don't They? The Truth About the French."