This is a biography of the Empress Matilda. Granddaughter of William the Conqueror and of King Malcolm of the Scots, and daughter of Henry I, Matilda fought for the throne of England, arguably hers by right, for nine years, and was denied it largely because she was a woman. Contemporary chroniclers said of her that she was "always superior to feminine softness and with a mind steeled and unbroken in adversity". In valour and determination Matilda may be compared with Boudicca, or with Elizabeth I, yet most of the serious work on her action-packed life and historical importance lies in untranslated German studies of the last century. In this book Marjorie Chibnall examines her career as a whole, as King Henry's daughter, as the wife and consort of Emperor Henry V, as Countess of Anjou after the Emperor's death, and as regent for her son, Henry II. In the final chapter the author examines the various ways in which Matilda has been judged by historians through the ages, and offers an assessment of the character and achievements of the woman who was described in her epitaph as "great by birth, greater by marriage and greatest in her offspring". This biography, pieced together from archival sources all over Europe, should be of value and interest both to scholars and the general reader.