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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Tough Woman
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.
Published 14 months ago by Else Grønbech

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The story of Matilda of Flanders and her husband William the Conqueror: a mixed bag
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...
Published on 1 Nov 2007 by Amelrode


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The story of Matilda of Flanders and her husband William the Conqueror: a mixed bag, 1 Nov 2007
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Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wife to the Bastard (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Tough Woman, 23 May 2013
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This review is from: Wife to the Bastard (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most interesting books to read, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Wife to the Bastard (Kindle Edition)
This Book was great, lovely reading material, great story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 15 Mar 2014
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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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2.0 out of 5 stars Dull, solid, 24 Nov 2013
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Full on read, 6 Nov 2013
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Really enjoyed it. 1066 from the Norman point of view. Engrossing book. Action, love , hate reflection. Transported into another era.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wife to the Bastard, 23 Oct 2013
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Found this book most enjoyable, couldn't put it down. Have now ordered further books to follow on with that time in history
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1.0 out of 5 stars The sample i received via my kindle showed promise but boy was i disappointed, 22 Sep 2013
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I purchased the book after reading about the Hilda Lewis, being a great lover of historical novel ie Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir to name but two I settled down to read the beginning was quite promising but over a quarter of the way through it became one long ramble and after skipping through some of it gave up very disappointing
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wife to the bastard, 1 Dec 2007
This review is from: Wife to the Bastard (Paperback)
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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wife to the bastard, 28 Jun 2013
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Great story, it kept me interested and waiting to see what happened next.i would recommend it. Very easy to read.
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