Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more



on 28 August 2017
Quite a complex book and after a while the various names became quite confusing. A family tree ( or two or three) would have helped sort out the various relationships and made for easier reading. Enjoyable and informative.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 July 2016
I have been increasingly interested in this part of our history. This book is a welcome addition to my collection. I am not an academic so appreciate how it is written, factual, easy to follow, enjoyable read.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 23 April 2018
Good book if your interested in that erea.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 April 2016
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 and wanting to know more.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 12 January 2018
Really interesting
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 12 January 2017
this book arrived promptly. I have only just started the book and it has me hooked.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 20 May 2016
Here we have a carefully researched, information packed, very readable account of the life and times of Elfrida (circa 945 to 1001). Elizabeth Norton is at her best here as she brings to life a host of characters from well over 1000 years ago.

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.'
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 9 September 2016
Elizabeth Norton has written more than a dozen non-fiction books, many of them focusing on Tudor times and Tudor women in particular. This book, an account of Elfrida, takes her writing outside those times, back to the tenth century. As with any book writing about Anglo-Saxon England there is much that is not known; sources are scarce, or difficult to place in context, or may be considered unreliable. So there are, of course, in a book that writes about one person in the tenth century, a lot of ‘maybe’ and ‘perhaps’ moments. But that doesn’t make it any less interesting, or any less important for such books, and accounts of such lives to be written.

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.

I found this a most intriguing and fascinating read; while I have read much about Anglo-Saxon England, this book looks at that period of history from the perspective of one person; how Elfrida fitted in that world, what she influenced and what influenced her, and her legacy is most interesting, and worth knowing. A very good read, and one that has encouraged me to look for more books by the author.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 19 September 2014
An interesting but light touch volume relying more on the appeal of cover presentation than width and depth of historical content..
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 January 2015
A very comprehensive account of her life. I am pleased tha Elfrida remained the central figure of the book. I find that authors of female characters have to resort to telling the male history of the time. This is a book that keeps to the title and is an interesting read.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse