Kim's Reviews > Queen of the Conqueror: The Life of Matilda, Wife of William I

Queen of the Conqueror by Tracy Borman
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's review
Apr 21, 12

bookshelves: medieval-nonfiction
Read from April 11 to 21, 2012, read count: 1

Tracy Borman chose a difficult subject for a biography, and succeeded at it remarkably well. Though a significant person in the affairs of western Europe during her lifetime, concrete information on Matilda of Flanders is difficult to find and ascertain.

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 the writing became a little dry, but for the most part, Borman kept my attention with her analysis of the various sources that chronicle accounts of Matilda's life, both the true and the probably ficticious. She brings Matilda's character to life, looking beyond the surface of the trite stories told of her, and gives us the picture of a fierce, ambitious, and charismatic woman who was every bit as vital to the building of William's Norman-English empire as William himself was.

I'd definitely recommend this biography to anyone interested in the era that well and truly brought England to the public conscious, as well as anyone interested in what role a woman could carve out for herself in a time when women were supposed to stay out of the public sphere.
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04/12/2012 page 26
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