Skip to main content

Review: Lady of the English, by Elizabeth Chadwick

Pages: 511
Original date of publication: 2011
My edition: 2011 (Sourcebooks)
Why I decided to read: I’m a huge Elizabeth Chadwick fan
How I acquired my copy: review copy from publisher, June 2011

Lady of the English tells the story of Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I. Although Henry made his barons promise to uphold Matilda’s claim to the English throne, his barons aren’t ready for a female ruler. The novel follows Matilda’s struggle to uphold her claim, pitting her against her father’s cousin, Stephen. The story is told alternately between Matilda’s point of view and that of her stepmother, Adeliza, from 1125 to 1149.

With the civil war between Matilda and Stephen, I always got the impression that Stephen was the kind of guy you’d invite over for dinner, and Matilda was more ice queen. It’s true that Matilda has been portrayed in historical chronicles as somewhat of a virago, so I was interested to see how Elizabeth Chadwick would vindicate her. I liked how she handled her character; Matilda is headstrong and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, although she was unable to take advice from those around her. In her author’s note at the end of the book, Chadwick poses an interesting theory that Matilda suffered from strong pre-menstrual tension, which might have accounted for some of her shark behavior. Matilda never became a crowned queen herself, but she was the mother of a future King, Henry II, who appears as a young boy in this novel.

On the other hand, there is Adeliza, the widow of Henry I and Matilda’s stepmother. When Henry dies, Adeliza retires to a nunnery; but she quickly forms an attachment to Willaim d’Albini, a character who’s a William-Mash type. Adeliza, however, is a weaker character than Matilda is, and I was less interested in her story. But I love how Elizabeth Chadwick manages to interweave historical details into her fiction. I always know I’m going to get a well-researched, entertaining story, as I did with this novel.


leonardocaesar1 said…
Searching for, how to get bankruptcy records? No problems. You can possess an exact copy of the original bankruptcy documents. Your bankruptcy court records and documents are readily available and you can have it in your possession within minutes of your order.
piyush23 said…
Respective technology and entertaintment blog it is. I have been long looking for some nice blogs. Very enlightening article it is for read anyone.
Register Website

Popular posts from this blog

2015 Reading

1. The Vanishing Witch, by Karen Maitland
2. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
3. Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg
4. Brighton Rock, by Graham Green
5. Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey
6. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
7. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
8. A Movable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
9. A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf
10. Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Truman Capote
11. Maggie-Now, by Betty Smith

1. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate, by Cynthia Lee
4. Music For Chameleons, by Truman Capote
5. Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious
6. Unrequited, by Lisa Phillips
7. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
8. A Lost Lady, by Willa Cather

1. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
2. Love With a Chance of Drowning, by Torre DeRoche
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. Miss Buncle's Book, by DE Stevenson
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garc…

2016 Reading

1. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
2. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
3. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
4. Liar: A Memoir, by Rob Roberge

1. The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy
2. Girl in the Woods, by Aspen Matis
3. She Left Me the Gun, by Emma Brockes
4. Because of the Lockwoods, by Dorothy Whipple
5. The Chronology of Water, by Lidia Yuknavitch
6. To Show and to Tell, by Philip Lopate

1. Fierce Attachments, by Vivian Gornick
2. Too Brief a Treat, by Truman Capote
3. On the Move: a Life, by Oliver Sacks
4. The Go-Between, by LP Hartley
5. The Art of Memoir, by Mary Karr
6. Giving Up the Ghost, by Hilary Mantel
7. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
8. The Great American Bus Ride, by Irma Kurtz
9. An Unquiet Mind, by Kay Radfield Jamison
10. A Widow's Story, by Joyce Carol Oates
11. So Sad Today, by Melissa Broder
12. The Liar's Club, by Mary Karr
13. An American Childhood, by Annie Dillard
14. So Sad Today, by Melissa Broder

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972Originally published: 1944My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press)How I acquired my copy:, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…