Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lady of the English (2011)

Lady of the English. Elizabeth Chadwick. 2011. Sourcebooks. 544 pages. [Source: Library]

Lady of the English is set during the dispute between Empress Matilda (Henry I's daughter) and King Stephen (Henry I's nephew). These two cousins (through their armies) fought bitterly for the throne of England starting in 1135. Last year, I read one adaptation of that conflict--though it was a bit ridiculous, Passionate Enemies by Jean Plaidy. Lady of the English is told mainly through two perspectives: Empress Matilda (the mother of Henry II) and Queen Adeliza (the widow of Henry I, Matilda's stepmother). Half the book is focused on Matilda's struggle with Stephen, her complicated relationship with her husband, Geoffrey of Anjou, her trying (but not too hard) to balance being a mother with being a strong political/military force to be reckoned with. Readers do spend time with her son, Henry, who would in good time become the next King. The other half of the book is focused on Adeliza's second marriage with William d'Aubigny. Adeliza was a supporter of Matilda; her husband a supporter of King Stephen. But these two were devoted to one another and had quite a large family, especially considering that she was the "barren" wife of Henry I. If Lady of the English is considered a "romance" novel, it would be because of this match.

The battle between Stephen and Matilda is not resolved in this novel. The novel just seems to stop suddenly in the middle of the story. I'd love the chance to read the rest of the story through Matilda's perspective!

I enjoyed this one for the most part. Lady of the English is not a "clean" read, however, there is so much history, so much historical detail, that it is easy to overlook the small percentage of smut when all is considered.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Kailana 8:34 PM  

I really need to read more Chadwick books. I like her but neglect her!

Jessica Snell 2:45 PM  

I can never read about Stephen and Matilda without thinking of Ellis Peters' Cadfael books - that conflict is so important in those stories!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP