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Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England Hardcover – 15 Aug 2013
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‘An engaging portrait’ (All About History)
‘The life-story of this remarkable figure’ (Ryan Lavelle, BBC History Magazine) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Elizabeth Norton gained her first degree from the University of Cambridge, and her Masters from the University of Oxford. She has written many books on the Tudors and England’s Queens for Amberley. She lives in Kingston Upon Thames.
Top Customer Reviews
Elfrida was the wife of King Edgar ‘the Peaceful’, who was born around 943 and who died in 975. He was a younger son of King Edmund I, King of the English from 939 to his death in 946. As his two surviving sons were young and there was no set rule of succession in those times, Edmund was succeeded by his brother Eadred. Edgar came to the throne in 959.
Elfrida (or Elfrthryth as she is also known) is a more shadowy figure, as is to be expected of a woman, albeit one that was married to a king. The author has written here of her likely family and her life up to her marriage to Edgar, based on what is known, and what can be discovered from the sources that we have available to us. This is surprisingly full, I found, given that the lives of tenth century women were not generally thought worthy of comment, or note to most early writers. Today, Elfrida is perhaps more known, if she is known at all, for an act she was held responsible for, which occurred after Edgar’s death. But it is extremely interesting to read about her in the context of her times, which the author has very successfully done in this most engaging read.Read more ›
The book is divided into 14 chapters:
1: Elfrida's Early Life
2: First Marriage.
3: King Edgar.
4: Elfrida's Marriage and Queenship.
5: The Tenth Century Religious Reform.
6: Elfrida's Role in the Reform Movement.
7: Imperial Ambition.
8: The Heirs of King Edgar.
9: The Murder of Edward the Martyr.
10: The Aftermath of the Murder.
11: Ethelred's Minority.
12: Elfrida's obscurity.
13: The Return of the Vikings.
14: Elfrida's Old Age.
Notes, bibliography and index are also included, but there are no maps or genealogical tables, although a series of helpful illustrations are included on pp 103 to 114. The index is restricted mainly to names, which means that the 'E' section is nearly as long as the rest of the index on account of their being so many characters whose names begin with 'E', although they may not actually have done so in their day and age because where 'E' is more often used these days, it was 'AE' in Anglo-Saxon parlance. Alfred and Athelstan are unchanged because they have the 'A' without the 'E'.
When reading this work it's helpful to always have both a genealogical table and historical maps to hand to enhance the enjoyment of such a good read, which will inspire the reader to follow up on the information on websites such as Wikipedia. I hope Elizabeth Norton will research and write more history about famous women because she is very good at it. This work proves the truth of the old adage that 'truth is stranger than fiction'. It certainly carries the reader along at a cracking pace sadly absent from so many 'great fictional works.'
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this book arrived promptly. I have only just started the book and it has me hooked.Published 5 months ago by Mrs S L Cranwell
Elizabeth Norton has written more than a dozen non-fiction books, many of them focusing on Tudor times and Tudor women in particular. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Keen Reader
I have been increasingly interested in this part of our history. This book is a welcome addition to my collection. Read morePublished 11 months ago by DE
Elfrida was a Queen unknown to me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her life and times, the book has left me wanting to visit all the places she and her family were involved in... Read morePublished 14 months ago by jampotlid
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