This book, as the title suggests :-), is about Matilda, who should arguably be included in lists of monarchs of England but never is. It’s also about Adeliza of Louvain, her stepmother, about whom very little’s been written – it was good to see her featured as a main character. It was a sympathetic portrayal of Matilda, who’s been given a raw deal by male historians who seem to have a problem with a woman standing up for her rights … although Elizabeth Chadwick did come up with the theory that part of the reason Matilda got a reputation for being stroppy was that she had severe PMT, which sounds like exactly the sort of thing that a male chauvinist would say!
I’m trying hard not to compare this to Sharon Penman’s wonderful When Christ and his Saints Slept, because they’re different books, by different authors, and each have their own merits. This one’s much shorter, and more personal and less political. It was a very good read, and I’m getting rather into Elizabeth Chadwick’s books. The medieval period in English history gets neglected, and it needs authors like her. I wish one of them’d turn their attention to the Georgian period now – that only seems to attract Mills and Boon type writers these days!