QUEEN OF THE CONQUEROR: THE LIFE OF MATILDA, WIFE OF WILLIAM I
ISBN# (13) 9780553808148
3 April 2012
Rating: 4 Cups
History is so frequently told about great men from the viewpoint of great men. Matilda of Flanders was not content to be nothing more than the wife of a great man. Born of ancestry that could be traced back to the rulers of France, England and Flanders, Matilda has seen what great women can do when given the chance. After marrying William of Normandy, she first becomes Duchess of Normandy, then a Queen of England, with innovative ideas and strength of character that will influence future queens for generations to come.
When William is born the bastard son of Duke Robert I of Normandy, it could never have been predicted that he would become William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and King of England. His roots were humble, his bastardy making him a target for anyone with a rival claim to his father’s duchy. This turbulent beginning teaches him the battle skills he will need to triumph over Saxon England. It has also been speculated that it is William’s thrilling life that makes him appealing to Matilda, the woman who will rule at his side and sometimes in his stead.
Partnered with a powerful husband, Matilda has been far more than a wife and mother. She becomes a ruling force, first in Normandy, then in England. As the first to be crowned Queen of England, she will use her cunning to dole out lands, patronize the arts and sponsor the founding of religious houses all across England. As readers begin to understand more, they discover how her strength of character left behind a legacy that will be admired by those who follow in her footsteps.
Ms. Borman pens a biographical account of Matilda’s life that transcends the dry historical facts. The startling insight on the role of female rulers in the eleventh century is spiced with romantic legends, tales of sibling rivalries, petty quarrels and triumphs. Lovers of historical fiction will enjoy the gritty reality painted by the author’s in depth research. Definitely a must have for anyone who enjoys history.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More