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Secrets of the Crooked River

Hidden Cumbrian Histories

Paul Eastham


“Secrets of the Crooked River” is a witty and atmospheric biography of Cockermouth that draws readers into a hidden world.

Stone Age residents try magic to stop floods. Mary, Queen of Scots spends her last day of freedom in the town writing desperately to Elizabeth I. The skeleton of a 2000 year old murder victim emerges from under Papcastle Roman Fort’s bathhouse.

Wicked Jimmy Lowther, the “Tyrant of the North” keeps his dead mistress at home in a glass coffin. An exasperated and betrayed Edward I dies on a desolate Cumbrian Marsh. Lady Maria Callcott triggers an earthquake in male-dominated science.

Anna Maria Radcliffe, Lady Derwentwater, tries to bribe a Prime Minister and seduce a king to king to save her Jacobite husband from the gallows, John Walker overcomes a jealous boss to conquor smallpox and Fearon Fallows saves the Royal Navy from sinking in the Southern Hemisphere.

When you add Viking invaders, Rober Louis Stevenson, Robert the Bruce, Tennyson and atom scientist John Dalton, “Secrets of the Crooked River” tells the story not just of this glorious patch of the Lake District but of Britain itself.


Fletcher Christian Publishers



Publication Date:



Paperback; 200 x 127mm

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