- Hardcover: 544 pages
- Publisher: Sphere; First Edition edition (2 Jun. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847442374
- ISBN-13: 978-1847442376
- Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 4.3 x 22.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 480,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Lady Of The English Hardcover – 2 Jun 2011
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More About the Author
Find out more at www.elizabethchadwick.com, Facebook/elizabeth.chadwick and on twitter: @Chadwickauthor
"This book will be best enjoyed by those who favor an intelligent, strong, and determined woman at the center of the story." - Booklist
Two strong women struggle for the crown of 'Lady of the English', in this dazzling new novel by acclaimed historical novelist Elizabeth ChadwickSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
"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.Read more ›
Chadwick has one of the most exquisite proses in modern medieval fiction. Every novel of hers I've read has always delivered for me, and been consistent in style, research and characters. And with every novel, Chadwick continues to amaze, entertain and educate. Her latest volume, Lady of the English, is no exception.
Lady of the English takes readers far back into England's history, when the country went through some of the most serious upheaval throughout its history. The story follows the lives of two women: Matilda, the daughter of Henry I and Adeliza, Henry I's young second wife and stepmother to Matilda, though the two are of an age. With the political tides always turning, the succession is thrown into question when Henry I dies without a clear male heir. Politics and ambition run wild, and the country is thrown into turmoil. Matilda, though a woman, is put forth as a likely heir, but must flee the country due to the many others who would take the throne -including Adeliza's new husband. Thrown into a world of uncertainty, Matilda, who never expected to be queen, must rally to take the throne that is hers by right.
As with every Chadwick novel, Lady of the English offers a unique and compelling portrait of a little-known woman from history who used her intelligence and cunning wit to move farther than what I woman could expect at that time. But, for the first time, Chadwick throws another element to the story with the entwined tale of Adeliza, another woman who never expected to be such a pivotal figure in British politics.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unlike most A Star writer who would write “impossible to put down books”, Elizabeth Chadwick transports you into the thick of events – in mid –thigh hauberk shirt of mail, then on... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Marie Otigba
Extraordinarily good book. I have read several books by Elizabeth Chadwick and they've all been brilliant. Read morePublished 7 months ago by PNP