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Peaceweaver [Kindle Edition]

Judith Arnopp
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 346 pages
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Book Description

When Ælfgar of Mercia falls foul of the king and is exiled, his daughter Eadgyth’s life is changed forever. Sold into a disastrous marriage with Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, King of the Welsh, a man old enough to be her grandfather, Eadgyth ultimately finds herself accused of fornication, incest and treason. Alone in a foreign land, her life is forfeit until a surprise night attack destroys Gruffydd's palace, and Eadgyth is taken prisoner by Earl Harold of Wessex.
At the Saxon court she infiltrates the sticky intrigues of the Godwin family, and on the eve of his accession to the English throne, she agrees to marry Harold Godwinson. As William the Bastard assembles his fleet in the south, and Harald Hardrada prepares to invade from the North, their future is threatened, and the portentous date of October 14th 1066 looms.
Eadgyth’s tale of betrayal, passion and war highlights the plight of women, tossed in the tumultuous sea of feuding Anglo Saxon Britain.

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More About the Author

My greatest loves have always been writing and history. Since I was very small I have had a book in one hand and a pen in the other. I spent my early adult life bringing up my four children and, when they were grown, I took myself to university where I studied English Literature and Creative Writing (BA) and Medieval Studies (MA). These days, I have progressed to writing the sort of books I love to read. Historical settings with a strong female lead.

One of the great tragedies of history is that monastic chroniclers didn't believe women were important enough to be given space on the record. This has caused women to be under-represented and, in my opinion, also often incorrectly categorised. The male section of medieval society tried to suppress their women; it still happens today but not all of them bowed down to male authority.

There were women like Aethelflaed who ruled Mercia for thirty four years, led armies against the vikings, refortified the Roman towns of Chester and Tamworth, founded Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Warwick and Stafford. Eleanor of Aquitaine who, among other things, ruled England on behalf of her son, King Richard I until he could claim his throne. Margaret of Anjou who fought unsuccessfully for her son's rights, and Margaret Beaufort whose campaign to put her son, Henry VII, on the throne was rather more successful. Katherine Parr and Katherine of Aragon who ruled triumphantly as regents while Henry VIII fought in France. Mary Banks who, along with her daughters and a handful of servants, withstood a siege at Corfe castle on behalf of King Charles during the civil war.

These are just a few examples of women who moved outside their prescribed role and they are the type of women you will find in my novels.

There is more information and excerpts from my novels on and you can also follow my blog on Look for me on Facebook and twitter.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great story 17 Dec. 2009
By Poppy
When I started to read this book I was amazed at how quickly I was drawn into the medaeval world, the writing is so good I could almost smell it! By the time I was half way through I could not put it down, and fairly galloped through to the end. This author knows her subject, but has the added advantage of being able to bring alive the detail of life in the 11th century. We are with Eadgyth step by step through her tumultous life, and she and her family stay with us long after the book is finished.
If you want an enthralling read and love history - get this!

Laura H Smith
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peaceweaver 7 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Judith Arnopp's historical fiction novel Peaceweaver commences in the troubled years leading up to 1066, a pivotal year in English history.

Eadgyth's childhood is a happy one, with memories of family, warm luxurious homes, obedient servants and plentiful food. This all comes to an abrupt end when her father offends King Edward by expressing his opinions regarding the infiltration of Normans into Edward's Court and is exiled to Ireland.

Eadgyth, her servant, Anwen, and family flee to King Diarmaid's Court. Ireland is a dreary place, weather and accommodations in particular, and Eadgyth has difficulties adjusting. Her father bonds with his old enemy, the Welsh, against Edward. The price for this alliance? Eadgyth.

Eadgyth is swiftly married to Gruffydd ap Llewelyn and dropped on the shores of Wales, along with her faithful servant Anwen, never to see her father or mother again. She is 13 and her husband 50. The Welsh language is foreign, as are their customs.

Gruffydd is a tyrant, disliked by his wife, servants and subjects alike. A once congenial man, he is embittered by the death of his first wife in childbirth. He shuns his youngest son. Gruffydd spends the majority of his time in field campaigning, for which his wife and household is grateful.

Eadgyth gradually learns the native tongue and makes the best of her situation, integrating herself into the Welsh way of life. She bears Gruffydd two sons, who become the focus of her life.

She is grieved to discover her husband's infidelities. A illicit love of her own grows, one which torments her soul but proves irresistible. An affair doomed to end in tragedy and Eadyth's confinement, her life granted only due to Gruffydd's need of her father's support.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sex and the Saxons 16 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the Battle of Hastings and the years leading up to it from a woman's point of view. I've always had a soft spot for King Harold, so out of curiosity I downloaded this book. It's written in the first person as Eadgyth, the woman who married Harold and bore his posthumous twins.
The author, Judith Arnopp has woven a story from scant historical threads, and it works well. I enjoyed it; my title is more or less accurate in that Eadgyth is a Saxon and is married and widowed twice and has had a lover and borne five children by the time she is twenty-one. There is both sex and romance in the book, as well as childbirth, war and death.
Towards the end the misplaced apostrophes increase a little, and the verb "pour" is for liquids; you "pore" over books!
I was glad to read that Harold was seldom to be seen without his hawk on his hand, which in my book is a quote from Stanley Holloway (I put the aitches in)!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bolder 26 Jan. 2010
Every time I picked Peaceweaver up I was reluctant to put it down, often reading until 2a.m.It is my habit to skim, at least the first time, most books, but with this one I read every word, drawn in from the first to last page. Reading about our history has never been so enthralling and I recommend Peaceweaver to anyone who enjoys historical novels.i. May we have more like it Judith Arnopp
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story on Harold's queen 9 Feb. 2011
History often recalls the hand-fasted wife of Harold Godwinson, last King of the Saxons, but little is known about his queen, Eadgyth, daughter of Earl Aelfgar of Mercia. She was a descendant of the Lady Godiva of Coventry legend, and the child-bride of a Welsh King before becoming Harold's queen. Author Judith Arnopp has weaved a wonderful tale of Eadgyth's life, interspersing fact, and fiction. Her meticulous research and unique storytelling made Peaceweaver a delightful read.

When Eadgyth's father barters her to the Welsh King, Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, she endures exile in an alien world with only her loyal servant Anwen for comfort. She submits to Gruffydd's cold and cruel attentions, and bears children for a husband more than twice her age. But sons are not the only joy of Eadgyth's life, when she finds a forbidden love. As unexpected as it is, another drastic change comes when her husband learns of the affair, just before his downfall.

Swept away to England by the charismatic Harold Godwinson, Eadgyth enters the English court of Edward the Confessor. Harold's unabashed pursuit of her re-awakens a love she never thought to feel again, but specters of Harold's past always intrude on their happiness. On the eve of Hastings, Eadgyth risks her safety to be by the side of a man she never thought she would love, as he faces the greatest threat his kingdom has ever known.

The period before the Norman Conquest of 1066 is a long-time favorite of mine. I found many things remarkable about Peaceweaver, the most important being that Queen Eadgyth was so young during this tumultuous period in England. She must have been a remarkable woman to bear the attentions of her first husband, and survive the difficult reign of her second husband.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Peaceweaver
Enjoyed reading this book. Good story takes you back to Saxon Britain and battle of Hastings from a woman's point of view.
Published 5 months ago by Barbara Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 7 months ago by Louise Leashorne
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Another great Judith Arnopp book. Great characters, good story - I can't get enough of this author
Published 10 months ago by H Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars read this!
This everything Judith writes is just fabulous! Iwas gripped by the very first chapter. Read more
Published 11 months ago by elaine white
5.0 out of 5 stars A woman's view of life before the invasion and how they coped...
A brilliant written book about the period of our history prior to 1066 and the effects of what happened afternoon. To get the full benefit you need to read the whole trilogy. Read more
Published 12 months ago by dee43
5.0 out of 5 stars giving an insight to life in saxon England in the years leading up to...
This is an enthralling book, giving an insight to life in saxon England in the years leading up to the Norman Conquest - a thumping good read.
Published 13 months ago by A. Connor
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
It's not often I put a book down but I couldn't finish this at all. No clue about the protagonist except the fact that she's fat. No concept of how she develops as a person. Read more
Published 14 months ago by C L Wardle
4.0 out of 5 stars Peaceweaver.
Very good storyline but I think the main protagonist needed to be stronger. I can understand the need to parallel the female fragility in a world of men but I think she could have... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Susan Anne Luffman
5.0 out of 5 stars Peaceweaver
This book kept me interested all the ways through. It was very well written and I enjoyed every page. Excellent read. More please.
Published 16 months ago by tecwynhughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful story
Peaceweaver is a fascinating story of King Harold and his second wife, I had read about his first wife who wasn't married to him in church, and he had to have a legal marriage with... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Gill O'Rourke
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