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Wife to the Bastard

Wife to the Bastard [Kindle Edition]

Hilda Lewis
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Matilda of Flanders, queen to William the Conqueror was beautiful, exquisitely small, clever, with a perfect courtesy trained in the rigid school of medieval manners. But within lay a root of darkness - inheritance, perhaps, of Viking ancestors. Twice, at least, in her lifetime the Viking streak broke through, in vengeance on a faithless lover, in fury wreaked on a rival of the marriage bed. The marriage, though fruitful of so many children, was on her side no match of love. But a passionate loyalty to her husband, an equally passionate ambition, together with her own sense of justice, gave her the will and the skill to dissemble her feelings and to make her the praise of Christendom. No Queen ever wielded so much power as she in the long years she ruled Normandy; before her no woman in England was ever crowned or was known as Queen.

About the Author

Hilda Lewis was one of the best-known and best-loved of all historical novelists. She was born in London and lived for much of her life in Nottingham. She wrote over 20 novels, most published in hardback by Hutchinson and paperbacked by Arrow. Hilda Lewis died in 1974.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 593 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (30 Nov 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006X7394I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,089 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hilda Winifred Lewis (1896-1974) was a British writer who wrote several historical novels on Queen Consorts. This one is on the very first Queen Consort: Matilda of Flanders, the consort of William the Conqueror. She was the daughter of count Baldwin V of Flanders, and Adèle, daugther of King Robert II of France. The count of Flanders was a very rich and powerful magnate and her link to the French royal family made Matilda one of the rgeat marriage prize of her ages, at equal if not superior to a duek of Normandy, espcially a bastard born one.

Mrs Lewis concentrates on the relationsship of William and Matilda and tells the story from the point of view of Matilda. She exploits the rumour that Matilda had been in love with the English ambassador to Flanders, a Saxon named Brihtric, who declined her advances. In the novel she even has a child by Brihtric. This puts her on an equal footing to William the Bastard and her refusal to marry Whatever the truth of the matter, years later when she was acting as Regent for William in England, she used her authority to confiscate Brihtric's lands and throw him into prison, where he died. The secret kept and partly revealed starts haunting and the relationship collapses more or less. Ambition does hold the couple together and the divisions increases through the the different links with their children.

Lewis constantly repeats the themes and goes on and on these fundamental issues. She simply overdoes it. After a while, this becomes wearying to the reader. Lewis's prose style takes a bit of getting used to. It's sometimes very formal and than quite dramatic, and sadly, it's also devoid of humor. On the plus side, Lewis makes us share Matilda's and William's ambition and frustration All in all it is not a book one dislikes, but one does not particuarly like it either. It is a quite mixed bag.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull, solid 24 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Could have been interesting and it did try in places but it was a really chore to read. I did like the way it tried to give an alternative perspective.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Tough Woman 23 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this book some months ago. Really enjoyed it. A biography on a woman I did not know much about prior to this read. Describes the tough conditions the women of this time lived under. An unfaithful husband who was never "home". A woman who had to rule Normandy alone. Not much love between her sons.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full on read 6 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed it. 1066 from the Norman point of view. Engrossing book. Action, love , hate reflection. Transported into another era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read 15 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A well written and well researched historical novel. The characterisation was believable and had depth. How refreshing to find a real historical novel and not just history rewritten as a romantic story or 'bodice ripper' as happens so often.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wife to the bastard 1 Dec 2007
I have been returning to this novel off and on for 30 years and it always gives me something else to think about. The style is not easy, being very formal- but it fits the character. The dark secret has been mostly disproved but does fit some readings of the extant documents so is used here to explain quite a bit that otherwise is unknowable.
All in all a thought provoking read for the reader of serious historical fiction
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4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going 13 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Heavy going but interesting if you love the history of England
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