Matilda: Wife of the Conqueror, First Queen of England
Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, was the first woman to be crowned Queen of England and formally recognised as such by her subjects. Beyond this, however, little is known of her. No contemporary images of her remain, and the chroniclers of her age left us only the faintest clues as to her life. Who was this spectral queen?
In this first major biography, Tracy Borman
Matilda was surely a formidable woman, and at its best this work shows us that side of her, the woman who was dec ...more
But a much bigger part of the frustration comes from the author and her writing style. I started questioning what I was reading when the author stated that bones thought to be Matilda's meant that she was only 4'2". This is just not true. There was a miscommunication w ...more
The life (and sometimes plight) of Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror; is unfortunately loose in resources. Thus, “Queen of the Conqueror” begins like many other biographies surrounding ill-documented figures by describing the world and events surrounding ...more
She relies heavily for her sources upon Norman and English 11th and 12th century writers. William of Jumieges for the Norman histories and William of Malmesbury and Orderic Vitalis for the more English perspectives, as well as the Anglo Saxon Chronicles and all the way into the ni ...more
Nonetheless, Borman builds as comprehensive picture as possible on the wife of William the Conqueror, placing her at the center of their new dynasty and utlimately making her the glue that bound the family together.
There were a few places where t ...more
There are a few things which may surprise people - for example that Judith, wife of Tostig Godwineson, may have been Matilda's aunt and not her sister as has been assumed for years. I am not entirely convinced by many of the Brihtric stories that form part of Matilda's legend, and I would have ...more
The introduction of the book gives a commonly told story of Matilda, upon hearing that she was to be betrothed to Duke William “the Bastard” of Normandy, rejecting the idea ...more
Matilda of Flanders, wife of William I the Conqueror, remains a mystery to history. Who was the woman behind the man who conquered England? How did her tempestuous marriage come about? In this biography, Tracy Borman tries to make sense of the conflicting accounts of Matilda's life and how she became the queen that every monarch of England is ...more
Not too long ago the only thing I had ever heard about was the year 1066 and enable William the Conqueror. I'm not saying I know a whole lot more now, but I do know considerable more than I did before, and I'm so glad I read this twice about Matilda, Williams wife. She was not some helpless female that William chose, and although she didn't want to marry him at first, she finally relented. It is not easy to keep track of how many children they had, but there are records of about 9 although ...more
Matilda is an intelligent woman - an obedient and humble wife when she has to be but also, a fierce woman capable of betraying her powerful husband to support her son. We see a wo ...more
This is not that book. While not as dense as a scholarly treatise, Borman takes care to always cite her sources, and to offer competing narratives of an event for the reader's understanding. If three historians offer three variations, Borman lay ...more
As a fan of historical fiction, I wasn’t sure if I’d like this book or not, but I found myself drawn into an ancient world where Matilda, the first Queen of England, proved to have a strength of character unknown for women of her time. It’s an absorbing story of ruthless men used to having their own way and women who were used as chattel to gain territory and allies for their fathers or were sent to nunneries where they served their families in a spiritual and religious way.
There were times ...more
Covering everything f ...more
Borman was born and brought up in the village of Scothern, England near Lincoln. She was educated at Scothern Primary School (now Ellison Boulters School), William Farr School, Welton, and Yarborough School, Lincoln. She taught history at the University of Hull, where ...more