Queens of the Conquest: England’s Medieval Queens
A Daily Telegraph Book of the YearThe story of England s medieval queens is vivid and stirring, packed with tragedy, high drama and even comedy It is a chronicle of love, murder, war and betrayal, filled with passion, intrigue and sorrow, peopled by a cast of heroines, villains, stateswomen and lovers In the first volume of this epic new series, Alison Weir strips away centuries of romantic mythology and prejudice to reveal the lives of England s queens in the century after the Norman Conquest Beginning with Matilda of Flanders, who supported William the Conqueror in his invasion of England in 1066, and culminating in the turbulent life of the Empress Maud, who claimed to be queen of England in her own right and fought a bitter war to that end, the five Norman queens emerge as hugely influential figures and fascinating characters Muchthan a series of individual biographies, Queens of the Conquest is a seamless tale of interconnected lives and a rich portrait of English history in a time of flux In Alison Weir s hands these five extraordinary women reclaim their rightful roles at the centre of English history. I pre ordered this on my Kindle, as I am a fan of Alison Weir s books and this is a subject of particular interest to me I have only just started reading it, and it would seem to live up to my expectations However, I must draw attention to a serious problem with the Kindle edition There is a considerable sub editing proof reading mistake in the chapter entitled The Piety of Their Princes In the print edition which I checked yesterday at my local bookshop it reads William was to claim that, in 1051, Edward had promised him the crown of England on his death knowing that he would be a strong ruler In the Kindle edition it reads William was to claim that, in 1051, Edward on his death knowing that he would be a strong ruler This sentence is gobbledygook, and for anyone who does not know the story the omission of these seven words removes a very important fact in the story of the Conquest Kindle has a history of poor proof reading, but this is a serious omission which I imagine the author will be very upset about It is high time that Kindle took notice of their readers and did something about this problem. Britiain s foremost selling female historian is back with a new series focusing upon England s Medieval Queens The first volume published concentrates on the Queens of the Conquest and covers the first century of the Norman Conquest from 1066 to 1167 It has five chronologically arranged chapters on Matilda of Flanders, Queen of William I and mother of two English kings William II and Henry I The two Queens of King Henry I, Matilda of England, mother of The Empress Maud and Adeliza of Louvain And the Queen of Stephen, the last Norman King of England , Matilda of Boulogne The final chapter tells the dramatic story of The Empress Matilda who fought a long civil war with Stephen which eventually culminated in her son King Henry II succeeding to the throne in 1154 and founding the new dynasty of Anjou These remarakble Queens are re illuminated in a stunning way which shows each Woman s abilities and flaws and their contribution to the development of the English state in the years following the Norman subjugation of England in 1066 Each chapter is dramatic and filled with action packed drama battles and religious conflicts which will leave you breathless with excitement as you keep turning the pages in a flurry As always, with Alison Weir, the book is impeccably researched and she narrates each woman s story in a lively invigorating modern style which reveals what talented and remarkable women they were She also narrates how the women influenced their husband s and thus the future of the fledgling often brutal Norman state In particular, she retells the story of the anarchy and the civil war which divided England between Stephen and Matilda neither of which actually won the war This book is history at its best and is utterly compulsive and dramatic When you start reading this book I guarantee you will be unable to put it down its just brilliant and unforgettable I don t agree with another reviewer who said this was dry I found it an easy and page turning read As always, Ms Weir is scrupulous in her research and there is a surprising amount of primary source material for the stories of these fascinating queens It was hugely interesting to learn about these women, who had been shadowy figures at best to me, and some like Matilda of Boulogne and Adeliza of Louvain I had no knowledge of whatsoever As always, woven into their biographies are tantalising glimpses of their beliefs, loves and obsessions, and those of their men and of the long gone society in which they operated I also loved the references to letters, tombs and buildings which can still be seen today It makes me want to go and make a special trip to see them for myself I can t wait for the next volume.
- Audio CD
- Queens of the Conquest: England’s Medieval Queens
- Alison Weir
- 13 October 2018 Alison Weir