Matilda: Wife of the Conqueror, First Queen of England Hardcover – 1 Sep 2011
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"Matilda remains relevant: one legacy is her bloodline, which still rules in Britain today." (Sunday Telegraph)
"Tracy Borman tells this story with a steady eye and a steady hand, tracing what can be known of Matilda's part in the events that were to change the course of English history." (Helen Castor Literary Review)
The first English biography of the thrilling, tempestuous life of the 'first' Queen of EnglandSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
What this book achieves is to put Matilda where she deserves - as a formidable woman and Queen in her own right - a proto Eleanor, if you will. The first recognised crowned Queen of England, a frequent regent for her husband, and one of the earliest English rulers to understand the value of the well managed PR exercise, she emerges as a redoutable figure indeed. The book is also, it must be said, a terrific read - one fairly zips through it with never a dull moment, and there is hardly an infelictous phrase in the whole work.
However where Borman necessarily struggles, and where I slightly have a boggle with her approach is the paucity of contemporaneous sources. For much of the regency and political areas there is sound ground - charters survive which show what power Matilda exercised. But of course none of us really buy the book for that do we? And on the broader front, the problem is that there are ample sources from considerably AFTER Matilda's death - and very very little indeed from the actual period. So when one gets to the fun bits - the horsewhip incident for example, the bottom line is that one can have no confidence at all tht this story is true based on the contemporaneous sources - but how can one miss it out of the biography? And so on for a number of scandalous and salacious incidents...Read more ›
It is notoriously hard to build up a proper picture of the early medieval personalities and the documents which survived to not paint an objective picture. I believe Tracy Borman gives us pretty good inside who this Mathilda of Flanders was and what role she played in history, not just as the mother of Williams's children and therefore mother of the dynasty, but as partner of William in ruling the duchy of Normandy and England. With her impeccable pedigree she lend acceptance of a powerful ruler who always had to fight his bastard birth. That her relationship was strong for most of the time proves the fact that he did not have mistresses. She might have been smal in height but she was had great personality, a woman born to rule and she fulfilled her role to perfection.
Tracy Borman brings her life and times back to life. Sometimes she fills the gasps with informed guesses. I am not a big fan of this, but properly you can not do without. All in all, Mrs Borman as done a great job, has sparked interest in her and has set the groundwork for further studies on Matilda. I enjoyed this biography very much.
When he first went courting her,she apparently refused him and the story is that he rode to where she was living and carried her off. Sadly the story has not been confirmed,but certainly the marriage was a very happy one.Matilda on several occasions acted as regent for her husband,especially after his conquest of Saxon England.
Matilda proved herself a brave and courageous regent and established herself as England's first crowned Queen . She also produced nine children to establish the dynasty. Two of them succeeded her husband as monarchs and eventually her great-grandson Henry,founded the Plantagenet dynasty.
It is clear from the records that Matilda had much influence over her husband,because after her death in 1083,his temper deteriorated. A contemporary writer claimed that "murmers of loud and heartfelt grief were heard through-out the land."
Very litle has been taught in our schools about this Queen and so this excellent and very readable biography by Tracy Borman fills an important gap in our knowledge and should be read by all interested in their country's history
The is a very readable account of a figure that has been very much sidelined in subjugation to her husband, William the Conqueror. The author does not bury you in a mire of inconsequential information in this charming account but rather gets straight to the point in drawing a very balanced portrait of a great English Queen.
This book is a must for any history lover and would make an ideal present for any young girl who wants to read about a strong and intelligent female whom carved a powerful niche for herself in a remorseless, male dominated society.
Top class history! If I could give it 10 stars I would!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
ABSORBING INFORMATIVE GOOD TO DIP INTO FOR FUTURE READINGPublished 4 months ago by JOHN JEREMY SPEAR
A great book, and very engaging and interesting as I knew (not personally) about the people she was writing about so made it more illuminating.Published 5 months ago by Barbara
Excellent, well researched book which is an excellent read. Although little is known of Matilda as with most medieval queens, this book shows how, with research, how a picture can... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Benmaric
Matilda was the wife of William the Conqueror and this is an attempt at a biography of her by piecing together the rather sparse historical sources. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Anne
This is another superb biography by Tracy Borman. While the known facts of Matilda's life are clearly considerably less than those for Thomas Cromwell, and it is sometimes claimed... Read morePublished 16 months ago by John Hopper
We've all heard of William the Conquerer but most of us I suspect know very little or nothing at all about, or ever heard of, his Queen Matilda. Read morePublished 17 months ago by skipperboy
An excellent book. By marvelous and detailed reaserch Tracy Borman brings Matilda to life.They may have lived 1000 years ago but we feel we know Matilda and William and are party... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Theo History Reader.
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