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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive!
Elizabeth Chadwick has grown with each of her books. Her ability to transport her readers into the world of her characters has always been impressive, but in The Winter Mantle, this ability, in particular, shines. With her incredible attention to detail, she brings to life the Conqueror's England and Normandy and allows us to believe we are getting a glimpse of the real...
Published on 24 July 2003

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
I didn't enjoy this as much as The White Mantle because the plot was not as exciting. I did enjoy the author's knowledge of day to day life of medieval England, but did spend a lot of time looking up words in the dictionary which somewhat detracted from the reading.
Published 11 months ago by Goldie Moe


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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive!, 24 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Winter Mantle (Paperback)
Elizabeth Chadwick has grown with each of her books. Her ability to transport her readers into the world of her characters has always been impressive, but in The Winter Mantle, this ability, in particular, shines. With her incredible attention to detail, she brings to life the Conqueror's England and Normandy and allows us to believe we are getting a glimpse of the real William and his family. This is not a 'fluff' book and Elizabeth Chadwick is not a fluff author; this is historical fiction at its best.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's not to say? My favorite author of medieval fiction, 23 Dec 2008
By 
Misfit (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Winter Mantle (Hardcover)
The Winter Mantle begins in 1067 after The Conquest as Waltheof of Huntingdon and several other English nobles are kept under William's close eye in Normandy. Waltheof desires William's haughty niece Judith and is torn between making his peace with William and pressing suit for her hand or participating in further rebellion against the Norman conquerors. After one rebellion in the north fails, William forgives Waltheof and marries him to Judith, although she is torn between pride in her Norman ancestry and desire for her husband, and this eventually leads to discord in the marriage. Waltheof allows himself to be convinced to participate in one last attempt at overthrowing William, and this time with drastic results.

The story takes up with the second generation in the second half of the book. Norman courtier Simon de Senlis is sent to take charge of the lands Judith inherited from Waltheof at the behest of King William Rufus. Furious, the ever haughty Judith refuses to cooperate and wed Simon and he turns his eye to Matilda as a younger and more appealing choice...

Based on true people, this was a lively entertaining tale and I very much enjoyed how the author was able to take such a snotty piece of goods like Judith and humanize her in the end - it really was a love/hate relationship between she and Waltheof and in many ways those two warring emotions are very much the same. As with all of her books, Chadwick has an amazing knack of bringing the medieval period to life, be it the sights, sounds, smells, food, clothing and more. Highly recommended and a side note that the tiny baby at the very end of the book has his own story in The Falcons of Montabard.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sheer Pleasure!, 8 Jan 2008
By 
T. Stevens "tracey80" (Kent) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Winter Mantle (Paperback)
I have read a couple of Elizabeth Chadwick's books and they have always been a delight to read, the only problem being trying to put them down to get other things done! The Winter Mantle was no exception.

The Story starts with the main Characters Waltheof of Huntington being brought to Normandy as a 'guest' with some other nobles so King William can keep an eye on them. Waltheof is a lovely character friendly to a fault and caring, he notices Judith (Williams Niece) and instantly falls for her.
Judith is a much more reserved person, however she wants Waltheof too, but her life is based on duty and what is expected of her and this leads her through her life till the end.
When Waltheof does ask William to marry Judith he says no, but later when Waltheof helps a rebellion against William it is decided to allow the marriage to keep control of Waltheof, but the marriage does not run smoothly and soon choices have to be made regarding loyality and love.

There story leads to there Daughter's Matilda and her Husband together and we see how the past still lingers in there lifes.

The story is wonderfully written and is full of detail that transports you to that time where you feel like you are there watching it all unfold.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Based On a True Story, 18 Mar 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Winter Mantle (Paperback)
Much of Elizabeth Chadwick's research is carried out as a member of Regia Anglorum, this is an early medieval re-enactment society. Her writing in recent books has become much more accomplished. She now writes about the period with the convictions of her obvious knowledge of the subject and has also made a subtle change from writing what were in effect historical love stories (nothing wrong with that) to historical novels with a love interest. She has now written quite a number of books and has received many accolades for her writing.

Fresh from his victory over the usurper Harold at Hastings, Duke William of Normandy, known to one and all as William the Bastard has returned home in triumph, accompanied in his retinue by a number of English nobles he cannot trust to leave behind his back.. But for one man Waltheof of Huntingdon rebellion is the furthest thing from his mind. From the second he see Judith, daughter of the King's sister he is determined that she will be his wife and soon it is apparent that the attraction is mutual. But love play little or no part in a marriage in medieval times and William refuses to allow the pair to marry.

This only spurs Waltheof to join a rebellion against the King. After crushing the uprising William decides that the best way to curb Waltheof's rebellious spirit is to allow the marriage to take place. But will the marriage of a Saxon Earl and a Norman lady bring its own problems. As their children grow Waltheof and Judith must make a choice between their own feeling and much older loyalties . . .

The author's style is slowly changing, to my way of thinking for the better, but what does remain constant is her knowledge of the period about which she writes and her ability to draw the reader into the story, until they could almost be there. This is a rare talent indeed. This book covers the period from the start of the Conqueror's reign through to the crusades.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Winter Mantle, 29 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Winter Mantle (Hardcover)
Another very readable book by Elizabeth Chadwick who achieves a uniqe blending of fact with fiction to create books you cannot put down!
The Winter Mantle is really two stories of successive generations combined in one novel - a device which Elizabeth Chadwick has previously used to good effect (cf "Children of Destiny"). It is well written and full of detailed information about mediaeval life, particularly aspects of arms and armour, and it is this detail which makes it possible for the reader to become really immersed in the story, almost to the extent of feeling part of it.
All in all, excellent value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book, 27 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Winter Mantle (Paperback)
This is the first novel written by E. Chadwick that I read and I must say that I enjoyed it. The only parts that annoyed me a little and made me feel I was reading any 'chik lit' were the detailed descriptions of the loving encounters of the main characters. In my opinion they didn't add anything to the story and they spoilt the flow of the narrative. Nevertheless I really liked the way the story was based on real historical settings and most of all I appreciated the last chapter written by the author in which she describes where she got her information from and which are the characters that really existed...I will certainly read more of Chadwick's novels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parent/children relationships as well as history and a 2 lovestories, 14 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Winter Mantle (Paperback)
I greatly appreciated this book: the historical period has been portraited with this writer's usual competence, and if you've read something else by her fully know that she makes you appreciate the look and feel of history without being boring or bookish. You find yourself into the story and when something or someone drags you out you wonder what cars and fridges and traffic lights are, if you get my meaning...
It's the same with this book too: with the added bonus that at first you think your hero and heroine are Judy and Waltheof, and can't believe he's not going to come out unscathed from the difficult situation he has created (you are halfway through the story, after all, the hero must stay alive and well till the end, there are lots of pages to go...). Then you discover that there is entirely another story, and a brand new hero whose character is much more complex and intriguing than the first.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and betrayal in 11th century England, 29 May 2009
This review is from: The Winter Mantle (Paperback)
Set in the years after the Norman Conquest, The Winter Mantle begins with the Waltheof and Judith, one an English captive and the other a Norman and the niece of William of Normandy. They should hate each other, right? They marry for love (or lust), though not all is a bed of roses. The story continues on into the next generation with their daughter, Matilda, and Simon de Senlis, a young Norman knight.

Chadwick's historical fiction is always top-notch. She really knows how to transport her readers back into another time, into the lives of people who jump off the page, even though they've been dead for hundreds of years. I love how she makes the reader become emotionally invested in her characters, even though you might not like them--Judith certainly isn't my favorite of Chadwick's heroines, but I really got involved in her story. According to Chadwick's note at the end, it's been popularly believed that Judith held some responsibility for betraying her husband to William, but the author handles this detail very well, I thought. And Waltheof is certainly no William Marshal, but I was sympathetic towards him, too.

Another thing I love about this book is how well-researched it is. Chadwick probably spends more time and exerts more energy researching her settings and people than other authors do, and it certainly shows here. The Winter Mantle covers thirty years of history, but Chadwick doesn't skimp on anything to give her readers a sweeping novel about love, hope and faith. I have a copy of The Falcons of Montabard on my ever-growing TBR pile, and I have about a half dozen more EC books on order.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 25 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Winter Mantle (Kindle Edition)
I didn't enjoy this as much as The White Mantle because the plot was not as exciting. I did enjoy the author's knowledge of day to day life of medieval England, but did spend a lot of time looking up words in the dictionary which somewhat detracted from the reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love her books, 1 Feb 2012
By 
D. P. Hardy (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Winter Mantle (Paperback)
I have read every Elizabeth Chadwick book there is and I love them all. She is such an accomplished writer, keeping you enthralled from beginning to end. Highly recommend all her works.
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The Winter Mantle
The Winter Mantle by Elizabeth Chadwick (Paperback - 18 Jan 2007)
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