QUEENS OF THE CONQUEST: England's Medieval Queens - Book One


QUEENS OF THE CONQUEST: England's Medieval Queens - Book One

ALISON WEIR    Book Number: 88497    Product format: Hardback

Three of England's five Norman Queens between 1066 and 1154 were called Matilda, and a fourth was called Maud, a variant of the same name. The fifth was Adeliza of Louvain. Four of the queens were crowned consorts, with the fifth, the Empress Maud, unsuccessfully claiming the English throne in her own right as the acknowledged heir of her father Henry I. Norman queens were recognised as sharers in the king's authority, ruling as regents when their husbands were abroad and if necessary taking up arms. We have no idea what they looked like, and our sources are often prejudiced against women. The wife of William the conqueror, Matilda of Flanders, had a colourful love life before marrying William, with one account describing how she proposed to a rich English nobleman, Brihtric, who turned her down. She initially refused William, who knocked her off her horse and rolled her in the mud by way of persuasion. When Henry I married Edith of Scotland he insisted she change her name to Matilda in honour of his mother. The marriage was a partnership in which Matilda pragmatically accepted the existence of Henry's numerous bastards. Adeliza of Louvain was Henry's second wife, and when his son by Matilda was lost at sea, his only surviving heir was Matilda's daughter the Empress Maud, now married to her second husband Geoffrey of Anjou, whom Henry disliked. When Henry died after eating lampreys against his physician's advice, his nephew Stephen hastened to secure the throne, together with his wife the resourceful Matilda of Boulogne, who supported her husband in his fight against the Empress Maud's claims. 556pages, genealogies, maps. Remainder mark.
Published price: £20
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ISBN 9781101966662
Browse these categories as well: Historical Biography, History

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