"Empress Eleanor of Bulgaria" by Neda Antonova

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"Empress Eleanor of Bulgaria" by Neda Antonova
"Empress Eleanor of Bulgaria" by Neda Antonova

About the book

And the Prince and Princess appeared, hand in hand: he tall and full, dressed in a general's uniform with all the decorations, slow, slightly limping - a sufferer! - half turned towards Her Majesty with the contented look of a man riding a thoroughbred horse… And she - with a long neck and a noble oval, tall and slender, wrapped in white Lyon silk of such a simple and refined cut that it made her figure look elegant and unquestionable as a formula or aphorism. Any addition to this majestic silhouette would detract from its crystalline and stunning integrity. Princess Eleanor was neither young nor particularly beautiful. But she was so natural in her regalness that she seemed impervious to any other feeling than admiration…

For the nine years of her reign - the glamorous and tragic years of the Balkan Wars - from the stepmother of the highest orphans, Queen Eleonora became the Mother of the Fatherland. The world press calls her "the crowned angel of Bulgaria".

Her last wish was fulfilled: she was buried in the holy Bulgarian land, next to the wall of the Boyan church, which she had personally saved from demolition and thus gifted it to the generations and to the world.

  • Volume: 288 pages
  • Cover price: BGN 17.95
  • ISBN: 978–954–26–2143–0
  • Hermes Publishing House OOD

About the author

Neda Antonova is the author of more than twenty novels, most of them plot-related with events from Bulgarian history. Of special reader interest is the deluxe edition of her essay book Ashes of a Thinking Reed (Hermes, 2021).

Her books have been translated into French, Russian, Czech and Polish. Neda Antonova is the only woman awarded the "Golden Sword" literary award.

Lives and works in Targovishte.



Minutes ago the fateful year 1908 for Bulgaria came.

"With you, through you and always after you!" - raises a toast to Prince Ferdinand, the leader of the Democrats Alexander Malinov.

Everyone present at the New Year's Ball in the Great Hall of the Palace applauds.

His Imperial Highness is charmed.

Later - in "Advice to the Son" the Prince - already abdicated king - will call Malinov's speech slimy, and his wishes - Sganarel nonsense.

However, on January 16, 1908, the monarch assigned this same Sganarel to form and head the next Bulgarian government.

Only a day later, the European press announced the engagement of Prince Ferdinand I of Bulgaria to Her Highness Princess Eleonora von Reuss-Koestritz of the small German principality of Reuss, one of those former city-counties that European diplomacy calls "second-rate magnitudes".

The news echoes in Bulgaria as well.

In the last days of February, the wedding was celebrated in Coburg and Guerra.

Bulgarian newspapers, for some unknown reason, describe the new princess as a recent widow, without even hinting at the name and nationality of her alleged late husband.

Ferdinand is forty-seven years old, Eleonora is forty-eight. On her personal coat of arms is written her motto - "Loy alty and Persistence".

The princely orphans know the least about the foreign woman.

Information about the marriages and personality of the second princess of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom is scarce.

The capital's society sinks in restrained anticipation.

In rural Bulgaria, however, the event is told and embellished as a romantic tale.

And no one, not even Princess Eleonora herself, guessed that in nine years of reign she would turn from the stepmother of the princely children into the Mother of the Fatherland.

What does fate reward us with when it has deprived us of love?

Sganarel - character of Jean-Baptiste Moliere from the comedy "Forced Marriage". – B. r.

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