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Lady Of The English Paperback – 13 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751541346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751541342
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick has written over 20 historical novels sold in 18 languages worldwide. Her first novel, The Wild Hunt, won a Betty Trask Award, and The Scarlet Lion was nominated by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society, as one of the top ten historical novels of the last decade. Elizabeth's nineteenth novel, To Defy a King, won the RNA Historical Novel Prize in 2011. THE SUMMER QUEEN, the first novel in her stunning Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy, will be followed by THE WINTER CROWN and THE AUTUMN THRONE.

Find out more at, Facebook/elizabeth.chadwick and on twitter: @Chadwickauthor

Product Description


Renowned historical novelist Chadwick tells this battle-of-the-sexes story from a woman's point of view, channeling Matilda and the wannabe regent's stepmother as storytellers (New York Post)

Book Description

Two strong women struggle for the crown of 'Lady of the English', in this dazzling new novel by acclaimed historical novelist Elizabeth Chadwick

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 68 people found the following review helpful By jerelyn on 15 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lady of the English I can never wait to get my hands on one of Elizabeth Chadwick's books, I know I am in for a treat!

Lady of the English is about two women. First of all the Empress Matilda (as she is called in this telling) and Adaliza of Louvain the second wife of Henry I. The story begins when the newly widowed Empress Matilda is called home to England by her father, after the disastrous death of Matilda's only legitimate brother. Henry has married a teenage Adaliza in hopes of siring a male heir but has been unsuccessful which is quite astounding as he is known to have had and claimed about 20 illegitimate children. At least one conceived while he was married to Adaliza.

Matilda was soon married to Geoffrey of Anjou, who was 14 nearly 15 when he married Matilda a mature woman of around 26. You can't write a story about Matilda with out writing about the Anarchy of King Stephens reign. But the political aspects, and the battles take second place to the story of these two very different women, who find they have more in common than you initially think. This is a book about the more intimate aspects of these women's lives, difficult marriages, duty, unrequited love. When Henry becomes resigned to the fact that there will be no heir except Matilda's son Henry he forces his barons to swear to uphold Matilda's right to rule. This is extraordinary because no woman has ever ruled England in her own right. Nearly all the barons were of Norman descent and French Salic law barred women from succession to the throne. I guess I have read enough about Matilda that I really didn't learn anything new about her.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Tara on 30 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
**Full Disclosure. I have never posted on Amazon UK before, but I have over 300 reviews posted on regular Amazon. I am posting this here because this amazing book is not yet available in the States.**

"If she thought a man was a fool, she said so to his face in front of others, and gave no quarter. She was tall, slender, beautiful, desirable. . "

This is how Empress Mathilda is described. This is the woman this novel is about. She was the daughter and the only surviving heir to Henry I. The men of England got on their knees three times in front of her and three times, swore to uphold her as their queen. When her father died, however, they upheld her cousin Stephen instead. Mathilda was enraged and thus, a battle began to retain her crown and her country for not necessarily herself, but her heirs.

The novel begins in this manner, with Mathilda arriving in England from Germany where he husband, an emperor, has died. She begins her first steps towards inheriting the throne by abiding by her father's wishes and marrying Geoffrey of Anjou. This is not a happy partnership. He is a young, arrogant whelp and her thoughts. . well, here's a quote from the brave and opinionated Mathida, "No more of an abomination than me being made to wed an idiot who is as far beneath me as a pile of dung under the sky. . You may be my husband, but you will never be my lord and master and you will never amount to anything more than a scrawny cockerel on top of your little midden heap!"

I love this woman. Nevertheless, despite her strong words, duty prevails and her and Geoffrey manage to do what they are supposed to do and they breed heirs. This makes Mathilda all the more eager to ensure that she obtains the throne of England.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jaffareadstoo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lady of the English is set in the 1100's, and follows the lives of two very different women, Matilda and Adeliza.

Matilda, the only daughter of Henry I, was used as a political pawn for all of her life. As a young child she was married to the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V, until his death in 1125 resulted in her father using her again to make a political marriage, this time with the Count of Anjou. Following the untimely death of her brother William, Matilda was regarded by some of the English barons as the rightful heir to the English crown. However, after the death of her father, the succession was insecure, and Matilda's life became one long battle to regain, and maintain what was rightfully hers from Stephen, the usurper King. Adeliza of Louvain was the second queen of Henry I, and Matilda's stepmother. Little is known of her historically other than she did not produce the male heir Henry I needed for a safe succession.

This is a meticulously researched historical novel with great insight into both female lead characters. Elizabeth Chadwick has cleverly juxtaposed the lives of these two fascinating women, and brought the medieval world to life in such a believable way, that you feel the tension and experience the struggle, not just for supremacy, but for survival. To be a woman in a medieval world was to be subjected to the whim of men - and only the strongest women made a difference.

Elizabeth Chadwick is a master of medieval storytelling, her sense of history is superb, her characters leap off the page, and enter your life in such a way that the story lives on in your imagination long after the last page.
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