The true story of the bastard son who made himself a king and the woman who melted his heart.
The stirring history of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, who invaded England and became the King. His victory, concluded at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, is known as the Norman Conquest.
Known for her exhaustive research and ability to bring past eras to life, bestsell...more
Heyer brings us back to 11th Century Normandy and introduces us to William, Duke of Normandy, (a.k.a. William the Bastard) through the eyes of Raoul de Harcourt - a knight in Duke William's retinue.
Raoul began his service to the Duke as a young knight and he quickly rose to be one of William's most trusted friends. ...more
I have no idea what Georgette Heyer had in her mind while writing this book. In my opinion, the plot is totally disconnected, there is a lack of link relating the main charters as well as the corresponding historical facts.
Undoubtedly there are much better books describing the Battle of Hastings.
Certainly this subject deserves better readings and some interesting research at Wikipedia and The Battle of Hastings-1066 which includes facts and full story.
If this had been my first Heyer, it would also have been my last. This novel was written in 1927, and reissued in 1966 when the 900th anniversary of the Norman Conquest was celebrated.
They shoulda left it on the shelf. It's boring.
I leave all issues of historical accuracy to the anal-compulsive yammerers who think fiction should obey the laws of fact, contenting myself only with the observation that there are a scant number of primary sources from 900-plus years ago, so just un ...more
I can see why this book would not be a favourite for many Georgette Heyer readers. The setting is medieval as opposed to Georgian, the prose is not her best ...more
History tells us that William of Normandy was born a bastard, held off multiple assassination attempts, became Duke of Normandy, repelled the French and invaded England to become it's King.
This is the same story that Georgette Hey ...more
Well-researched and portrayed for the time period, I ...more
This book is story of William the bastard, the Duke of Normandy (who used to sign as Bastardus' who became King of England after winning the battle of Hastings. Book features Raoul as his favorite and trusted man servant - I believe this was as much Raoul's story as it was William's. F ...more
Let me re-phrase ... I was never interested in Medieval historicals, and never particularly drawn to that era in history either. Heyer's novels, however, drew me steadily back in time, century by century, until she involved m ...more
This novel is divided into five parts with a short prologue and an epilogue. Overall it proved a little too exhaustive for my tastes.
The first three parts have the occasional interesting or even entertaining moment, but mostly I felt bored by the mundane ton ...more
I just could NOT get into this book. It's so dry, the writing is so cumbersome...
I found myself reading words and not really paying attention to the story.
I can't remember the last time I gave up on a book, but I couldn't keep reading this one.
My copy has a lot of character though, its from England and the pages are yellowing. It has so much character to it, that it makes me happy to have this book. I liked reading it just for that. Heyer's research is, of course, amazing and her details to the story are reall ...more
Read the Prologue
Read "The Beardless Youth", especially for any parts that include Raoul de Hartcourt (feel free to skim the battle scenes if you want)
Read "The Rough Wooing", focusing on the "courting" of Matilda of Flanders by Duke William of Normandy, an ...more
Despite it's subtitle ("A Novel of William the Conqueror The Bastard Son Who Overpowered a Kingdom and the Woman who Melted His Heart"), there is very little in this novel that relates to the relationship between William and his wife Matilda. Though there is a chapter devoted to his determined "conquering" of her (including his beating of her when at first she refused to marry him), it's not a love story nor a romance. The story begins in 1028 with William' ...more
Base-born son of Richard, Duke of Normandy, William the Bastard had to fight for his crumbling heritage, then to subjugate in battle his feudal lord, the King of France.
Spurned in love he horse-whipped the lovely Princess Matilda, then made her his bride.
Thwarted by the Saxon Earl Harold of a solemn promise of the throne of England, he sailed with his ar ...more
I was expecting more of a romance based on the tag line on the front cover, so I was disappointed that there wasn't much romance to speak of. It also read, at times, like a history book, and I felt very distanced from the characters--but that was the kind of books written in that time. And the language was so archaic, it was difficult to fo ...more
Just to make it clear, there are no harem pants and crop tops to be found here.
Meanwhile, another reviewer totally pegged this accurately as a "bromance," not a romance as the cover implies.
No lie, though, but between the political intrigue and the machinations of medieval warfare, it was downright touching in places!
Ah, and thankfull ...more
This was a challenge to read. The formatting and language was dated and I found myself often getting distracted and re-reading paragraphs or just setting it down mid-chapter for a break. That being said I really liked the book. It was definitely slow at times and rife with the sort of gross sexism someone might expect from a Regency romance author from the1920's.
I was surprised that there wasn't more story-time for Matilda, William I's wife, even in the chapters that dealt with his proposal, i ...more
Georgette Heyer was an intensely private person. A best-seller all her life without the aid of publicity, she made no appearances, never gave an interview, and only answered fan letters herself if they made an interesting historical point. Heyer wrote very well-researched historical fiction, fu ...more