Genre: Historical fiction
Published: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Source: For review
Royal wives and royal widows, Queen Adeliza and her stepdaughter, Empress Matilda, are the only two women to be titled “Lady of the English,” a title that does not come cheap. Adeliza, widowed queen and peacemaker, is married to a warrior who supports Stephen, grandson of the Conqueror. Matilda, daughter of the last king and a fierce fighter, is determined to win her inheritance against all odds and despite all men, including Stephen. Both are women who, in their different ways, will stand and fight for what they know is right. But for Matilda, pride comes before a fall. And for Adeliza, even the deepest love is no proof against fate.
Chadwick does it again. She brings an era to life and the women that lived then. For a big book this took no time at all to read. The pages just flew by.
Matilda was married to Henry V, the holy Roman emperor, but he died when she was still young and they did not have any children. So she came back to England and her father Henry I, and that is where this book starts. He had no male heirs, legitimate ones, and he wants his daughter to rule. The times were sure different, she was 26 when she was married to 14 year old Geoffrey of Anjou. Not a marriage she wanted. This book then follows the struggle to get England since her cousin Stephen takes the throne, and she is not a woman that gives up.
The book is also about Adeliza, the widow of Henry I. She did not seem to be as strong as Matilda but she was strong in another way. Where Matilda was harsh and said what she meant Adeliza took her time. And I liked her story as she was married for a long time but did not get any children even though Henry fathered bastard after bastard. But then when she re-married she got a bunch of kids.
This is then the book about two women who are both fascinating in their own rights. It was a different time and I did like when Matilda did her best since this was not a woman’s world. While with Adeliza we got more about what happened on the home front.
Truly another interesting story from Chadwick. She has the magic and can bring history to life. After finishing this one I sit down and wait for her next book. I can’t wait to read whatever she writes about next. So this make this book a historical fiction book that I recommend to everyone.
Honoria Smythe-Smith, the youngest daughter of the eldest son of the Earl of Winstead, plays the violin in the annual musicale performed by the Smythe-Smith quartet. She’s well aware that they are dreadful but she’s the sort who figures that nothing good will come of being mortified, so she puts on a good show and laughs about it. Marcus Holroyd is the best friend of Honoria’s brother Daniel, who lives in exile. Marcus has promised to watch out for Honoria, but he faces a challenge when she sets off for Cambridge determined to marry by the end of the season. She’s got her eye on the only unmarried Bridgerton, who’s a bit wet behind the ears. When her advances are spurned, can Marcus swoop in and steal her heart in time for the musicale?