Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick
Matilda, the former German Empress and daughter of King Henry of England, returns to England following the death of her husband. She is a complete stranger to England, having left many years ago. But her father and his new wife, Adzelia, have no heir. Henry names Matilda his heir, but marries her off to the young Count of Anjou to beget heirs. Hotheaded Matilda finds her young husband childish and mean spirited and leaves. Forced to return to him, she bears him three sons. Upon her father's death, the barons who swore fealty to her years ago support her cousin, Stephen. War ignites as Matilda fights for her crown. Adzelia, now a widow, finds love with a supporter of Stephen and at long last has children. Adzelia struggles with her conscience and heart, knowing that Matilda is the rightful Queen, even though she is losing the war. This is a story of two women, bound by love, respect and friendship.
Chadwick weaves masterfully written stories and Lady of the English is no different. Adzelia and Matilda are so contrasting. Motherly Adzelia loves the rash and stubborn Matilda, though she is bound to her husband who supports Stephen. Their friendship defies even the greatest odds. This time in history is a new time period for me. I enjoyed how Chadwick brought the time period to life. I do wish that Matilda would have been a warmer woman, but Chadwick portrayed her true to life. This is another great book by Chadwick!!