Queens of the Conquest

Queens of the Conquest

Book One, England's Medieval Queens

Book - 2017
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"Spanning the years from the Norman conquest in 1066 to the dawn of a new era in 1154, when Henry II succeeded to the throne and Eleanor of Aquitaine, the first Plantagenet queen, was crowned, this ... book brings to ... life five women, including Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror, the first Norman king; Matilda of Scotland, revered as the common mother of all England; and Empress Maud, England's first female ruler, whose son King Henry II would go on to found the Plantagenet dynasty"--Amazon.com.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2017]
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781101966662
Characteristics: xxxiv, 556 pages : color illustrations, maps, genealogical tables ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: England's medieval queens
Call Number: 942.02092 WEI


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Mar 27, 2019

A very interesting look at some of England's early queens after the Norman Conquest. I didn't know much before about Edith-Matilda of Scotland or Adeliza of Louvain or the Empress Maud beforehand, so reading this was quite informative. Weir is thorough in her writing and research, as always. This is supposedly the first book in a series, so I am definitely looking forward to the next one.

Aug 13, 2018

I finally finished this. I'm glad I read it because it was so interesting and I learned a lot. This is a topic I knew barely anything about, besides the kings' names.

The style takes a bit to get used to. There are quotes left, right, and centre so you have to try to ignore the quotation marks. I'm just glad she used endnotes instead of footnotes or I probably wouldn't have been able to even read it. One thing I really appreciated about this book is that because she uses so many quotes, she rarely asserts her own opinion, but just tries to state the facts. It was refreshing to read a non-fiction book that doesn't take a feminist viewpoint or other 20th or 21st century perspective.

As for the subject material - as I already said, super interesting. One thing I took away from this was how religious they all were. I mean, I know that everyone at the time was Christian, but the amount of money and time that these royals dedicated to abbeys and churches is kind of unreal. It seems to be definitely about trying to save their own souls and the souls of their family members. And at the same time, there are bloody civil wars and other conquests going on. It's hard to reconcile the two, in my opinion. How could these people who are so worried about pleasing God not care about having mistresses, or killing people just because they want more land? And some of the clergymen were just terrible, switching allegiances to try to get more powerful, declaring people anathema just because they didn't listen to them, always running off to the Pope, who was trying to run England (and everywhere else) from far away, and who might not even be the Pope by the time they got there because they were always being replaced. What a confusing time period for the Church!

I wish there were more pictures, although I do understand that not much survives from this period. I did like the pictures that were artists' takes on what it might have looked like.

Also I was getting quite tired of the name Matilda (although I know this is not the author's fault and she did her best haha). The guys all have cool names like William and Henry and Geoffrey and then there's Matilda, Matilda, Matilda, and Matilda! Thank goodness there's an Adeliza in the middle of that.

Overall, recommended for people interested in this time period and who like reading about what the lives of medieval queens were like. If you're not particularly interested in this, you probably won't get through it, because there are a LOT of names and dates. I'm looking forward to the continuation of this series!

May 18, 2018

Well researched and well written. Covers many eras and many kings, queens and intrigues. Almost too much info for a single book. Anxious to read more of her works because i can see that the author spends much time on securing accurate information from as many sources as possible. Well edited, with no errors found. Appendix and genealogy charts were helpful. The thorough index helped in backtracking characters.


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