I was prepared to write at length in praise of this book, but it has already been well reviewed so I am content to add my voice to the chorus of approbation it has received. "She Wolves" is simply excellent! The times Castor describes are notoriously complex, and she guides us through them with an expert hand. By now I feel I even have an understanding of the struggle between Stephen and Matilda, which will help when I next read a Cadfael novel. What becomes very clear is how differently women were valued in the past, even when the woman was the Queen - there are several points where Castor informs us that contemporary chronicles say nothing on a certain issue - as well as the infamous double standard that these women were so often caught in.
Above all, the author wears her learning lightly. The entire book is well researched, and Castor shows she is well aware of the latest scholarship in the area, and yet the book could be read as a novel. I would easily recommend this work to anyone interested in history - it is first class.
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