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It's taken far to long but finally someone has done a biography on the first women to be recognised as Queen of England.,
This review is from: Matilda: Wife of the Conqueror, First Queen of England (Paperback)
The first thing one has to think when hearing about this book is why has no one written a biography on this Queen before? But thankfully Tracy Borman has now taken Matilda out of the historical darkness & shown us the lady who is in many ways the reason for the success of the Normans establishing themselves as the ruling dynasty of England, both politically & through her bloodline ( which was stronger then her husbands claim).
So little has been known on Matilda, until recently people would only have recognised her as the Conqueror's wife, some may have known that she helped fund her husbands campaign by outfitting a ship- the splendid Mora for his invasion, & even less would have known of her many stints as regent for her husband in Normandy.
What this book does, is try to discover the women who has all to often been simply regarded as a footnote in history- & it does this remarkably well, literally no stone has been left unturned in the research to show us an understanding of the women helped shape her husbands & later descendants rule in England, from her childhood to even after her death, we learn of Matilda as the proud daughter of the Count of Flanders. We learn of Matilda as the Duchess of Normandy supporting her husband on his campaigns & acting as regent on his behalf in Normandy, witnessing charters, founding abbeys. We learn of Matilda the mother who presided over her childrens education & making sure her daughters had the best possible. & we learn of Matilda as most importantly Queen of England- the peacemaker to her husbands often tyrannical personalty. We also get an idea of what William could have been like.
1066 is possibly the most important year in English history, where the country as it was known changed forever, & in this book readers will understand it effects of both England and Normandy, every possible source is analysed meticulously & readers will come away with an incredible understanding of the courts of Flanders, Normandy & England & the countries & principalities in general after finishing this book, all i can finish on is if in future another historian writes about Norman invasion or the Conqueror without including much of Matilda, then they will be doing a great disservice to History.